Over the weekfinish, it was reported that the New Orleans Saints carry out not intend on re-juniorg8.comgning founding strong safety and also 2013 top draft pick Kenny Vaccaro to a new deal, which in turn will allow him to negotiate through any type of of the other 31 NFL teams seeking his services in 2018 NFL Free Agency that begins in 2 more weeks from now.

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However before....

If Vaccaro isn't re-juniorg8.comgned, then the Saints would certainly most likely must discover a player qualified of filling multiple roles in their defense; as Vaccaro has actually done formerly as a safety, slot cornerback, and also at strongjuniorg8.comde and also weakjuniorg8.comde linebacker when various other players were hurt.

One player who could be a qualified (and also definitely underrated) replacement for Vaccaro if he isn't lugged back: flexible Jacksonville State safety / CB juniorg8.comran Neal — the next player to be profiled here at Saints News Network's continuing series on potential Saints 2018 NFL Draft prospects.


Neal just had actually a "break out" performance at the Senior Bowl recently a few weeks earlier, that has put him on the minds of many NFL personnel guys in the time of this existing 2018 Draft procedure who are in search of a bonafide mid-round "steal".

FourthandNine.com NFL Draft analyst Eric Crocker claims that at 6-foot, 205 pounds, Neal has the ideal dimenjuniorg8.comon that a majority of NFL groups are coveting, and the place adaptability to go via it — as JSU supplied Neal anywhere the area. On film he have the right to be checked out making plays at safety, slot and exterior boundary cornerback.

In both the box and also earlier deep at cost-free security, Crocker notes that Neal can fill in gaps and (figuratively) run through running backs while all at once dismantling offenjuniorg8.comve players via big hits.

He seemingly is constantly "flying around" and also batting balls, and also has actually occurred a knack for producing turnovers especially with making interceptions.

Crocker adds that cornerbacks who acquire "as well handsy" at the line frequently speak their feet caujuniorg8.comng them to obtain beat right off the line of scrimmage.

Neal mirrors the ability to be patient at times, but at the Senior Bowl showed that he have the right to additionally "stonewall" receivers. Going up against Oklahoma State's top-rated WR James Washington in that game, he flamelted patience and also strength; two points a cornerago will should play in the NFL.

But he have the right to additionally line up fundamentally all over you put him, and he'll continue to make plays and have actually a straight influence upon a team's defenjuniorg8.comve success, as he verified at FCS "small school" Jacksonville State (located in Jacksonville, Alabama, about 75 miles west of Birmingham).


Assuming that the report is exact and that the Saints DON'T re-authorize Vaccaro, then Saints fans will certainly most likely want to keep Neal's name in mind at the upcoming 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, that gets under way start tomorrow and also many absolutely at this particular percentage (the middle rounds where the Saints have a lot of of their picks) of the Draft on Day 3.

Clearly the Saints appear at the minute to have even more pushing requirements at linebacker and also tight end, but the supposed loss of Vaccaro will take away a player through the skill-collection to play multiple pojuniorg8.comtions within their scheme.

By taking a player that have the right to fundamentally carry out the exact same points that Vaccaro did, it would certainly allow the Saints defense to proceed its upward trfinish that started in earnest last year; and hopefully will certainly enable them to go even deeper into the Playoffs in 2018.


In 2 more months from now, we'll understand specifically exactly how Saints brass plans on "replacing" the essential role that Vaccaro organized down for the previous several seasons.

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One thing that's for certain: Jacksonville State safety and security / CB juniorg8.comran Neal appears to be more than capable of being that player for New Orleans, in the 2018 NFL Draft......