Houston Texans draft prospect: Alabama OL Evan Neal

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans offensive line was the equivalent of subway turnstiles in 2021.

There just wasn’t much resistance, and it’s no wonder that Houston has allowed the ninth-most sacks this season with two games left to play. There’s much-needed relief at this position, and Evan Neal could be the guy to help solve all of this.

With a giant size of 6’7″ and weighing 350 pounds, the native of Okeechobee, Florida, Neal has been moved around since his arrival in Tuscaloosa. In 2019, Neal played mostly at guard. In 2020, he was moved to right tackle, and then this past season most of his time was spent at left tackle. Versatility in an offensive lineman is such an underrated ability, as the mental task of memorizing where to go on each play, as well as technique is something that not everyone can do.

Highlight #1. Highlight #2. EvanNeal. 829. player. LT/RT. Alabama. 73

One would think that switching between right and left sides on the offensive line is easy; and those who think that are mistaken. From my playing time in college (where I also moved around on the offensive line), the hardest part was playing on the left side as a right-hand-dominant person.

Getting your body used to the technique takes a long time, and Neal has shown that he can handle it. So what are the categories that Neal is good at what, and what needs improving?

Evan Neal- Positives he can bring to the Houston Texans

  • Square body when pass setting
    • When in a pass set, keeping your hips square keeps you in front of the rusher
    • Neal never lets his feet stop, so he’s able to work for a redirect and ride the defender past the quarterback
  • Finishes pass blocks hard
    • Neal has a great ability to get the defender to the ground- then covering him up on the ground so he can’t make another play
  • Neal’s long arms allow him to get first contact with pass rushers, and he usually wins most of the time during passing plays


  • In his junior season at RT, he struggled on run block paths
    • Specifically, his zone-blocking steps, scoop techniques and reach tech.
      • Neal did not take good angles and was often behind the play, instead of getting to +1 of the LB, which as an RT is a frequent assignment on reach plays
  • Indecision on pass blocking
    • When Neal didn’t have a rusher on pass plays, he resorts to “airplane arms”
      • That means his arms are spread out, and Neal tries to find another rusher
        • Keeping the original pocket is great, it’s the decision to not help teammates with a drag hand or “smash” technique is an area he can improve upon


Neal is a much better run blocker when he was at LT in the film that I watched. That’s where he’s the most comfortable, and you can see the difference in highlight #2 (linked above) as opposed to highlight #1.

If the Houston Texans wanted to prepare for the future with a much cheaper player at the position, Neal could be the guy. Currently, Laremy Tunsil would be the starter. His contract expires after the 2023 season, according to Spotrac.

Neal could learn from Tunsil, or be moved to another position that he previously played at Alabama. His run blocking would need to improve if he’s on the right side of the line. Neal is a solid pick for Houston at the third spot, and he might just be the selection if Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux go before him.

Related Story. Repeating the case for Houston to draft this Michigan State running back. light