They not only made an impactful appearance in the game but they also made NFL history. The Falcons were the first ever defense to start four rookies in Super Bowl history, two of the four being Keanu Neal and Brian Poole. Starting these rookies was former UF defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Although the game did not end the way they had hoped, these former gators have made the Gator Nation very proud.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) February 4, 2017
In the 2016 NFL Draft, Neal was selected as Atlanta’s first round draft pick. He played and started in 14 games. Neal had 106 tackles and five forced fumbles, which both ranked second on the team. During Super Bowl 51, Neal tallied a game-high of 13 tackles.