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What does Keanu Neal have to do to win over Falcons fans in his rookie season?

He wasn't the most popular pick, so what will it take?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Keanu Neal was a defensible pick at #17, albeit not necessarily a popular one. With so many mock drafts expecting him to land in the second round, it was inevitable that many would feel he was a reach, and while I liked the pick a lot I certainly understood the sentiment.

In years past, we've seen the fanbase turn on draft picks quickly when they're scuffled in their rookie seasons, and I'm certainly bracing for the same outcome for Neal. We want our first rounders to be successful immediately, no matter how long the odds are, and Neal's going to be stepping into William Moore's old starting job. Those are some big cleats to fill, even if Moore was hardly the same player we knew and loved a year ago.

I think if Neal starts the whole season, grabs a couple of picks, and delivers solid coverage and several highlight reel hits, it'll be enough to stave off a lot of grumbling. How about you?