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Who is DeJuan Neal, the UDFA cornerback signed by the Redskins on Saturday?

The former Division II DB gets a chance when QB Josh Woodrum falls victim to PMPD

On Saturday, the Redskins reportedly worked out QBs Conner Cook and Jalan McClendon, but decided instead to sign an undrafted Division II cornerback from Shepard University.

Here are some notes from a report published by Fansided:

Neal (6-foot-even, 190 pounds) has had plenty of college-level experience. He appeared in 43 games over four years at Shepherd and logged 95 tackles, 17 pass defenses, and three interceptions during his career.

On tape, Neal shows that he is a willing tackler and demonstrates solid coverage abilities. He has nice leaping ability that helps him to high-point the ball despite his average frame, so that could help him make some plays if he gets time in the preseason. Still, it seems likely that he will just serve as a camp body, as making the jump from Division II in such a tight window won’t prove to be easy.

Neal should get a chance to play if the Redskins do go through with this signing and if he outperforms expectations, he could end up competing for a practice squad spot. However, the team simply has too many options at corner for Neal to have a chance of making the 53-man roster unless he shows better than he did on tape. Swapping him for the injured Woodrum makes sense though, and it’s worth seeing what he can do with Washington.

This signing seems a bit unusual, as the Redskins currently seem to be very deep at cornerback:

  • Quinton Dunbar
  • Josh Norman
  • Fabian Moreau
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
  • The People’s Corner, Jimmy mf’n Mooorelaaaand!
  • Greg Stroman
  • Adonis Alexander
  • DJ White
  • Deion Harris
  • Ashton Lampkin
  • and, now, DeJuan Neal

There were reports from Craig Hoffman and others from camp on Saturday that Quinton Dunbar was not participating in team drills, but working on a side field. With Danny Johnson currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, perhaps the team is looking for someone to spend a lot of time on the field in the remaining preseason games in an effort to protect the health of the players presumed to be destined for the 53-man roster, or, perhaps Neal was simply the BPA on the Redskins list for training camp.

Neal is a local guy. He was born in Annapolis Maryland and grew up in Shady Side Maryland. Of course, Shepard University is in West Virginia, just about an hour from D.C.

With just one day of training camp left, and preseason coming to an end in 18 days, the best outcome Neal can probably realistically hope for is to impress coaches and earn a spot on the practice squad. Still, for a young man from a small school who went undrafted and unsigned until the 10th of August, I’m sure this is an exciting opportunity!