Giants Rookie Ran Sprints By Himself After Each Minicamp Practice This Spring

Brian Daboll Evan Neal One of the reasons why the New York Giants drafted Evan Neal was for his work ethic.

If there was one New York Giants rookie who turned heads with his effort this spring, it was offensive tackle Evan Neal.

Neal, a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, was singled out by Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News in his “Spring Observations” report at the conclusion of Giants minicamp:

Evan Neal ran sprints by himself on the Giants’ back field after both minicamp practices. That’s the team’s biggest player, and a No. 7 overall pick and rookie, putting in extra work daily. Encouraging work ethic to go along with the right tackle’s impressive talent and physique as the Giants break until the start of training camp in late July.

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Running sprints alone after practice? At 6-foot-7 and 351 pounds?? That’s a championship-caliber work ethic, and it should come as no surprise — Neal was a team captain under Alabama head coach Nick Saban and won a National Championship with the Crimson Tide.

Here’s a look at Neal sprinting through a drill at Giants practice, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

A man of this size should not be able to move like that, but Neal is extremely committed to his craft. In high school, he changed his diet to cut down on food like Chick-fil-A and totally reshaped his body into the brick wall you see today.

When you understand Neal’s journey and hear about the extra work he’s still putting in to this day, it’s easy to see why the Giants have plans to start him immediately at right tackle.

Neal Also Turns Heads With His Pure Size

The other common refrain we heard out of the Giants organization this spring was shock over Neal’s sheer size. Running back Saquon Barkley described it best, while detailing the first time he laid eyes on the mammoth rookie during his pre-draft visit.

“He was walking through, and I was just like golly,” Barkley said, via SNY Giants on Twitter. “Who is that? We need that guy on our team. Thankfully, we were able to draft him.”

Barkley said he’s “selfishly” happy that the Giants selected Neal, because having a blocker like that should make his job a lot easier as a running back. Barkley tore his ACL two seasons ago and struggled through a lackluster comeback in 2021; maybe Neal will help him bounce all the way back in 2022.

Neal Sounds Like He’s Ready to Hit

We did not get a chance to see the Giants in full pads this spring, but that will change during training camp later this summer. Neal admitted he’s looking forward to the live contact.

“We hit a whole lot at Alabama, so I guess Coach Saban made me that way,” Neal said (h/t Bobby Skinner of Talkin’ Giants). “But there’s a time and a place for everything.”

Raw size. Extreme discipline. Eagerness to work. We’ll see how the rookie looks on the field this season, but so far Neal sounds like the total package at tackle.

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