A guy I'd love to get late in the draft
A Mike DeVito like player who actually played in a 3 man front in college. Don't look at the stats. The tape shows the kind of effort and hustle this kid gave (I watched a lot WV games):
Chris Neild, WV
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.
Positives: Has large hands. Strong — bench-pressed 225 pounds 30 times at the Combine. Competes in the trenches and willingly does the dirty work. High-motor overachiever. Outstanding work ethic. Experienced, three-year starter. Solid character.
Negatives: Stiff and short-armed. Just an adequate athlete. Not sudden, explosive or agile. Does not use his hands well and gets stuck on blocks. Has no burst and cannot flatten or close to the ball. Gets stuck on blocks. Marginal pass-rush ability.
Summary: A strong, squatty, heart-and-soul collegiate nose tackle with a bulldog mentality who will have to overcome athletic limitations to earn a job as a two-down plugger at the next level.
NFL projection: Priority free agent