4 things to know about new Dolphins DB Siran Neal

March 20, 2024 3:49 pm ETThis offseason, the Miami Dolphins are set to lose their two special teams aces from the last two seasons with Keion Crossen and Justin Bethel both on the market, so to address that need, general manager Chris Grier signed Siran Neal to a one-year deal.

Neal will be tasked with gunning down Jake Bailey’s punts and Jason Sanders’ kickoffs in the 2024 season, which should help Miami’s defense start their drives with better field position.

Before Neal steps on the field for the first time in aqua and orange, here are a few things Dolphins fans should know about him:

Previous stops

Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Neal played his collegiate ball for Jacksonville State before being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft. He played for the Bills for six seasons, recording 115 total tackles (four for a loss), five passes defensed, three quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and one sack.

PFF grades

(Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

During his six seasons with Buffalo, Neal only played 567 defensive snaps. He tripled that on special teams, getting 1,714 opportunities in the third phase of the game.

Why has he continued to get reps on special teams over the years? According to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, Neal ranks 12th in special teams tackles and first in special teams forced fumbles since he entered the league in 2018.

This could make a huge difference for Miami’s coverage units in 2024.

Sean McDermott’s words

(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

While Neal has had a few special teams coaches during his time with the Bills, including current Dolphins special teams coordinator Danny Crossman, he only had one head coach – Sean McDermott.

McDermott has spoken highly of Neal and his attitude, which could be why Miami targeted him.

“[He’s] team first,” McDermott said back in October 2021. “Siran is a hungry guy. [He] comes every week [with a] kind of chip on his shoulder type approach with me against the world, which is what made him who he is.”

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