Cleveland Browns pick-a-player: Adding one free agent from each NFC South team

Cleveland Browns free agent targets . Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns free agent targets . Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 5
Cleveland Browns free agency
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 27: Keanu Neal #22 of the Atlanta Falcons is introduced prior to an NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Falcons – Keanu Neal, Safety

Keanu Neal is a guy that would be an immediate upgrade over any of the safeties that the Browns put out last season, that is if he’s able to stay healthy. Neal had a dominant start to his career, putting himself up there as the favorite to be the next big thing at the safety position. After two brutal injuries that sidelined him for the 2018 and 2019 NFL seasons, he came back and gave everyone a reminder of the player that he is.

Neal played a total of four games between his 2017 Pro Bowl season and 2020. In 2018, his season came screeching to a halt in the season opener as he tore his ACL. The next year, in 2019, he tore his Achilles and was once again rehabbing a season ending injury, this time making it three games into the season. His injury history is definitely off-putting to say the least, but when healthy, Neal is one of the best young safeties in the league and a true difference maker on defense.

In his three seasons that he’s actually been healthy for, Neal has put up 322 total tackles, 16 pass breakups, 15 tackles for loss, 8 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and an interception. He’s a stat sheet stuffer that is an absolute beast on the field. Having him line up adjacent to Grant Delpit would make for one of the best young safety duos in the NFL. With how the secondary played last season, the Browns are almost forced to take a look at him.