Evan Neal joins NFL Network to discuss first NFL training camp
Evan Neal was selected with the seventh overall pick in this year's draft in order to help shore up the offensive line.
Now participating in his first NFL training camp, Neal is happy to be back out on the football field preparing for the season.
"It just feels good," the rookie tackle told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo and Brian Baldinger. "Everyone is out here competing man, getting better, just enjoying playing ball. This is what it's all about."
Neal enjoyed a strong collegiate career at Alabama. As a freshman, he started 13 games and allowed just one sack and three hits on 423 pass block snaps, earning him a 71.2 overall grade from PFF. It only went up from there for Neal, who earned a dominant 83.7 in 2020 after starting 12 games and surrendering two sacks, one hit and six hurries.
The offensive lineman was at his best last season. Starting 15 games at left tackle, Neal gave up two sacks, five hits and eight hurries on 650 pass block snaps. He earned an elite 85.8 overall PFF grade, including 80.4 run block and 83.6 pass block grades, and was named both First-Team All-SEC and a Consensus All-American.
Neal was just one of the offensive linemen added this offseason, joining the likes of Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski and several others. The unit is using this time at camp to build chemistry in preparation for the season.
"I believe we're getting closer and closer every day as we work with one another, spend some time with one another," Neal stated. "All of those guys are great guys and great mentors. I can just pick their brains and get information from them. We're just taking it day by day."
Perhaps Neal's most important responsibility will be to keep quarterback Daniel Jones from getting hit. While he's only been around the signal-caller for a few months now, the young tackle is impressed with what he's seen from Jones.
"From my perspective of Daniel, for me being around him, he commands the huddle," the 21-year-old lineman said. "He's the general of the offense. I'm confident in him, and everybody else is. I'm just excited to get better with him and just protect for him…"
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal forever linked
The circumstances of their arrival ensure that Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal will be linked long after they depart from the Giants.
Thibodeaux, a pass-rushing outside linebacker, was the fifth overall selection of the 2022 NFL Draft. A few minutes after securing his talents, the Giants added Neal, a standout tackle, at No. 7. Both are lining up with the starters in practice, Thibodeaux on the edge and Neal at right tackle. They are arguably the two most significant building blocks added in the new Joe Schoen/Brian Daboll regime. They will forever be connected, to the point that discussing one will be difficult without mentioning the other.
Thibodeaux said "definitely" when he was asked Saturday if they will always be linked.
"Football is a game of trenches," he said. "And starting with the trenches is a great start from the man upstairs, and they did it and I feel like as we continue to get older and mature, we're going to continue to grow and gel together, and keep bringing both sides to the forefront."
Andrew Adams excited to be back with Giants
The building is the same, as are the locker room and the practice fields. But everything else about the start of Andrew Adams' second tenure with the Giants is vastly different than the beginning of his first stint with the team.
In 2016, Adams was an undrafted rookie from UConn who soaked up lessons from his experienced teammates while hoping to stick around long enough to play in a regular-season game. Now, the roster, the coaching staff and much of the support staff are new. He's a seven-year veteran, a former Super Bowl champion and a mentor to younger players.
"It's crazy," Adams, 28, said today. "I'm the oldest guy in the (defensive backs room).
"It was always a great place to be when I was here as a rookie and a second-year player. They treat the players the way we should be treated. They treat us as people, as human beings, and you kind of feel that instantly when you walk in the building."
The Giants this week re-signed Adams, who played the last four seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was on the Bucs team that defeated Kansas City in Super Bowl LV following the 2020 season.
Adams played his first two seasons with the Giants. As a rookie in 2016, he played in 14 regular-season games with 13 starts and started the NFC Wild Card Game – still the Giants' most recent postseason game. Adams and Sterling Shepard are the only current Giants who played in that game.
"Me and Shep came in together," Adams said. "From that 2016 team, Shep is the only one still here, but there's still some familiar faces in the building."
View top photos as the Giants took the field on Back Together Saturday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Catch all of the action from Saturday
The Giants had a big crowd at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for Back Together Saturday.
Catch up on all of the action from Saturday's practice below!
Giants Fan Fest returns to Metlife Stadium
Free and open to the public, the Giants Fan Fest will feature a Blue & White intrasquad scrimmage, autographs by Giants Legends, and a fireworks show.