The best safety in the NFC South – and one of the top young safeties in all of football – resides in Atlanta. Buccaneer fans have become very familiar with the thunder-packing Neal over the last two seasons, as he’s hit and slammed nearly every Buc pass catcher at some point in his young career. The most famous of those hits is obviously the prime time shot on Mike Evans as the big Buccaneer receiver snagged a high pass with one hand. Neal has also delivered crushing blows to Willie Snead, Melvin Gordon and Ty Montgomery, among others.
Neal finished second on the Falcons last year in both solo and combined tackles, just as he did as a rookie. He’ll need to improve on his turnover creation – just one interception the last two seasons – but for now Neal is doing just fine as the Falcons punishing enforcer.
Though Ricardo Allen isn’t as flashy as his teammate Neal, he’s become a solid contributor for the Falcons entering his fourth season as a pro. Allen doesn’t blow you away with any particular stat or ability, but he’s shown enough promise to have a starting spot secured for this upcoming season. Pro Football Focus’s “above average” grade seems very fitting for Allen.
The Falcons chose not to bolster their safety depth in this year’s draft, which leaves them rather thin behind their solid duo of Neal and Allen.