Let's Meet Rajion Neal
A bulldozing touchdown run is as good a way as any to "jump out" on film, and of all the rookies on the field in Nashville on Saturday, Rajion Neal certainly did the most to earn himself a little bit of an extra look.
Whether or not the coaching staff agrees is their business, but we can certainly look a little bit into the backstory and upside of the latest UDFA to star for the Packers (if you can indeed call it that during the preseason).
In a word, Rajion Neal is beefy. Not in the Eddie Lacy sense of the word, where some of the beef might be, well, not beef (if you catch my meaning), but more the extremely well-muscled sense. At 5-11, 220, Neal is the second heaviest back on the Packers roster, and of all the undrafted free agent running backs (along with Michael Hill, LaDarius Perkins), he comes the closest to passing the eyeball test: he looks like an NFL running back.
After a productive senior season, Neal entered the draft as CBS's 17th ranked running back. Scouts praised his build, along with his power and pass catching and quick feet. He played out a spread offense with zone blocking elements in college, and most scouting reports out there suggest he'd likely do well in a similar system in the pros.
However, Neal's power and size comes at a cost, as he's not the swiftest back in the world. He's not a plodder, but clocking a 4.48 on the high end puts you pretty far from the front of the pack. Scouts have also criticized his one-cut running style, although that can be a pretty minor concern. Ryan Grant was a classic one-cut runner who churned out three productive seasons in Green Bay.
The physical tools are there, but Neal is likely facing the biggest problems from numbers: he's no higher than fourth on the depth chart at the moment and it could be a stretch for the Packers to keep four running backs andJohn Kuhn. That said, it's not impossible for DuJuan Harris to lose his job, and if he would happen to do so, Neal likely would be the guy to take it from him.