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Keanu Neal on track to start, be counted upon in 2016

The young safety is going to be counted on to be good, and the Falcons are saying all the right things early on.

Keanu Neal NFL Draft
Keanu Neal
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Whether you’re a Keanu Neal enthusiast or not, you know the rookie safety is going to win a starting job. It’s always a frightening prospect to have a rookie stepping into a huge role at a position that matters a great deal in Dan Quinn’s system, but the Falcons continue to say nice things about Neal.

I think he’s going to be pretty special.

That’s just one short portion of a longer article about Neal, but it nicely sums up the sentiment from the building. We didn’t hear a ton about how he looked in minicamp, but the coaching staff got a long enough look to start delivering verdicts like this, and their takes on Neal matter a great deal more than ours, in the end.

Neal will have to be special in his first year for the Falcons’ defense to be anywhere near great, in all likelihood, so let’s hope the talk winds up mirroring reality. I do anticipate he’ll be a quality player in his rookie season, but expect plenty of mistakes, as is custom for a rookie.