In the first round of the NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Florida safety Keanu Neal. While some fans loved the pick, most seem to believe that Neal was a big reach. Pro Football Focus called his selection the 5th worst draft pick of the year.
Did the Atlanta Falcons make one of the biggest reaches of the draft? Not according to NFL executives that talk to ESPN's Adam Caplan.
Execs I've spoken with say he might wind up being one of the best defensive players from this draft down the line... https://t.co/sYiZVRUaAd— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) May 3, 2016
That is pretty high praise, and indicates Neal's impression with some of the league's top decision makers. There were rumors that the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers were considering Neal in the first round. Based on team executives' thoughts on the defensive playmaker, Neal could have gone even higher than 17th overall.