Ryan Neal started his career in Atlanta in 2018 after he went undrafted out of Southern Illinois. I only say this because while Neal signed with the Seahawks in 2019, doesn’t it feel like he has only been in the league for the last two seasons? Neal started to be a decent player for Seattle in week 3 of 2020 when Jamal Adams had to leave the game against the Cowboys and Ryan Neal, forced into action with the Adams injury, made the interception to end the game.
Ryan Neal who? But then in week 4, Neal had another pick. Between weeks 2 and 6 of 2020 when Neal was starting in place of Adams, Neal played nearly 100 percent of the snaps, had 28 tackles, 3 passes defended and 3 tackles-for-loss. Then Adams returned and Neal wasn’t needed to play as much.
But Neal makes plays. He has only played 14 percent of the defensive snaps in 2021 but has 2 passes defended and 2 quarterback hits. Doesn’t sound like much until you realize he has as many quarterback hits as Jamal Adams and Benson Mayowa do but in far fewer snaps. Neal has just one less pass defended than Adams.
In fact, Ryan Neal needs to play more, not less. Neal seems to have a knack for making a key play. He also has good size at 6’3″ and 200 pounds. He doesn’t miss many tackles either. No, he isn’t perfect. But he definitely needs to be part of the secondary rotation for a few more years in Seattle.