2017 NFL Draft

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Chris Neild

| | College: West Virginia
 
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Overview

When a 3-4 nose tackle is doing his job correctly, few people will notice because they tend to spend time eating up blocks instead of chasing the ball. But Big East coaches noticed Neild's ability to eat up blocks to free up linebackers in the WVU 3-3-5 defense during his senior season, naming him first-team all-conference despite making only 35 tackles, four for loss and 3.0 sacks.

It was the second consecutive year Neild received accolades with paltry statistics; his second-team all-conference junior season saw him make only 35 tackles, two for loss. His most productive season statistically was his sophomore year (45 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks), the first season he was the starting nose tackle after contributing as a redshirt freshman (13 tackles, 0.5 sack).

Most people associate the 3-4 nose tackle with a wide body like Ted Washington or Vince Wilfork. But Pittsburgh and Baltimore have relied on somewhat smaller pluggers like Chris Hoke and Kelly Gregg in the middle of their defenses. Neild fits that mold to a tee, making him a likely late-round pick who expects to play for a long time.

Analysis

Strengths: Fire hydrant run-stuffing nose tackle. Keep leverage against double teams near the line of scrimmage. Keeps his hands active to keep his man off-balance or in case he needs to disengage. Provides a punch when one-on-one. Good hustle to the sideline once the play goes toward the hashes. Slides feet into either "A" gap while engaged while following the ball off the snap. Big East Academic All-Star.

Weaknesses: Lacks typical bulk of NFL nose tackles. Very average athlete, lacks change of direction ability to make a lot of plays outside the box. Does not provide much pass rush beyond occasional pressure. Not dominant with his bull rush, slowly moves his target backwards with effort and leverage. Slow to twist inside.

--Chad Reuter

2010 Season

A Three year starter for the Mountaineers and a first team All-BIG EAST selection this season. He recorded 35 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks in 2010 and was a part of a defensive unit that ranked first in the BIG EAST and third in the nation in total defense (261.1 ypg). Neild leaves West Virginia with 130 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss and six sacks.

2009 Season

Started all 13 games … saw action on more than 645 plays, including a season high 81 against UConn … used on 50 or more plays in nine games … finished with 35 total tackles, including 13 solo stops, two tackles for loss, a pass breakup and an interception … posted four or more tackles in five games … registered three tackles against Florida State in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl … collected an assisted tackle at Rutgers … assisted on a tackle against Pitt … had a solo tackle early in the Louisville game before having to leave with an arm injury … four tackles at USF … finished with five tackles and the game-sealing interception against Connecticut … collected four tackles, including a tackle for loss against Marshall … assisted on a tackle at Syracuse … season-high six tackles, including a tackle for loss against Colorado … finished with five tackles, including three solo tackles at Auburn … assisted on two tackles against East Carolina and Liberty.

2008 Season

Started all 13 games … awarded the Ideal Mountaineer Man by the coaching staff … WVU Defensive Champion: East Carolina, Rutgers, Auburn, Connecticut … used on more than 710 plays, including a season-high 64 at Colorado … saw action in 50 or more plays in nine games … posted the most tackles among the defensive linemen and ninth among the defense with 47, including 17 solo stops, 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss … also had a forced fumble and a pass breakup … career high eight tackles against Auburn … five tackles, including one for loss at Pitt … four tackles against USF … two tackles, including a tackle for loss and a forced fumble at Connecticut … four tackles, including a sack and a pass breakup against Cincinnati … six tackles, including three unassisted tackles against Rutgers … five tackles at East Carolina … two tackles against North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

2007 Season

Primary backup to Keilen Dykes at the nose tackle position … played in 11 games and started two … saw action on more than 225 plays, including a season-high 44 plays against Mississippi State … used in 41 plays at Rutgers … . registered 13 tackles, including eight solo tackles … assisted on a sack … season-high three tackles with two solo stops against Mississippi State … two tackles against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, East Carolina, Louisville and Cincinnati.

2006 Season

Redshirted.

High School

Led the Stroudsburg (Pa.) High Mountaineers to back-to-back conference championships … all-Mountain Valley conference and Pocono Record all-area … second team Class AAAA all-state for Coach Fred Ross … 86 tackles, 16 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles as a senior … WNEP Super 16 … Keystone first team all-state … also a basketball and weightlifting letterman.

Personal

Birthday is December 1 … son of Robert and Cathy Neild … a sport management major … Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll

 
 

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