- Position: DT
- School: NC State
- Class: Junior
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 320 lbs
Alim McNeill was a 4-star recruit coming out of Sanderson High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. There he played played running back and linebacker while also playing basketball and baseball. He had offers from many top schools (Alabama, Clemson, OSU, Florida, Michigan just to name a few) but chose to stay at home and attend NC State. In his career he had 77 tackles, 10 sacks, 1 interception and 1 touchdown.
McNeill has great size for someone who won’t line up any wider than a 3 technique. 320 pounds with adequate arm length is good size for a guy of his skill set.
I think McNeill has better functional strength than weight room strength. He said in a recent interview that he expected to hit at least 35 reps of 225 pounds at his pro day. That is nothing to slouch out, but the way he puts blockers on their heels and resets the line of scrimmage makes you think he can hit over 40 reps.
McNeill played running back in high school as well as playing center field for his showcase team. Dude is an athlete. His footwork is exceptional, he sometimes gets around blockers without even engaging with them, he just runs around them.
His first step creates problems, he explodes off the line and resets the line of scrimmage. Freakishly explosive for a guy his size.
Run Defense: 2
Tough to give a grade here. McNeill played the zero technique most of his career, his job wasn’t to make plays, just eat up blocks and collapse the pockets. I can’t give him a grade based off what he MIGHT can do, just on what I’ve seen.
Pass Rush: 1
The poorest part of McNeill’s game. Remember that great first step I was talking about? That’s all he has as a pass rusher. He doesn’t demonstrate any great moves and will need to develop that as most teams will probably want to play him as a 3 technique.
Read and React: 4
Playing linebacker in high, McNeill has a good idea of how the whole defense works and what to look for in gap formations.
No injury history, nothing to worry about.
McNeill is a high floor, high ceiling prospect. His athleticism and explosion will make him an instant impact in the run game. IF he is able to develop a pass rush arsenal, he will become a nightmare for any offensive coordinator.
Featured image courtesy of Bryce Dial/GCSN
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