While Keanu Neal and Deion Jones will ultimately need to show what they can do on the field, we are left to speculate about their future over the coming months. Falcons fans hoping that these picks will turn into solid ones can take some solace in this fact: Gil Brandt had both players listed on his top underrated defensive players for the 2016 draft.
For those that don't know, Gil Brandt has been in NFL circles since Moses came down off the mountain. He's a very highly regarded NFL analyst and draft expert, so this list is not insignificant. What did Brandt say about the two newest Falcons defenders?
...is ultra-athletic and strong; he had a 38-inch vertical jump, an 11-foot broad jump and 17 bench lifts last month at the NFL Scouting Combine. He has coverage ability...
...plays like Buccaneers LB Lavonte David. He's very athletic and quick. He needs to get stronger and I think he will. He'll start and play on all downs in the NFL. He's one of my favorite players in this draft.
Look, I know that these words won't suddenly ensure that Neal and Jones both become pro-bowlers, but it does help ease concerns about the potential for both guys. As noted earlier, Brandt is no slouch in NFL circles, so getting two of his underrated defensive players should be seen as a big positive for the team.
Your thoughts on Neal and Jones?