Neal with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016
|No. 22 - Atlanta Falcons|
|Born:||July 26, 1995|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||211 lb (96 kg)|
|High school:||South Sumter|
|NFL Draft:||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17|
|Roster status:||Injured reserve|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
Neal attended South Sumter High School in Bushnell, Florida. As a senior, he had 70 tackles and had four interceptions and as a junior had 151 tackles and four interceptions. He committed to the University of Florida to play college football under head coach Will Muschamp.
Neal played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2013, recording five tackles. As a sophomore in 2014, he played in 10 games with eight starts and had 45 tackles and three interceptions. As a junior in 2015, he started 11 of 12 games, recording 96 tackles, an interception and two sacks under new head coach Jim McElwain. After the season, he entered the 2016 NFL Draft.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft in
|11 ft 0 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
|Falcons select Keanu Neal 17th|
Throughout training camp, he competed for the job as the starting strong safety after it was left vacant due to the Falcons opting not to re-sign William Moore. He competed for the job against Kemal Ishmael and Charles Godfrey. On August 25, 2016, Neal recorded five solo tackles before leaving the Falcons' 17-6 loss at the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter after sustaining an injury. Neal sustained a knee injury after receiving a stiff arm while attempting to tackle Dolphins' running back Arian Foster during a 17-yard reception. The injury required surgery and sidelined him for the first two regular season games. Head coach Dan Quinn named Neal the starting strong safety to begin the regular season, alongside free safety Ricardo Allen.
He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Atlanta Falcons' Week 3 matchup at the New Orleans Saints and recorded four combined tackles and a pass deflection during their 45-32 victory. He made his first career tackle on the Saints' first offensive snap and tackled running back Mark Ingram Jr. after a three-yard gain. On October 23, 2016, Neal recorded a season-high 11 combined tackles (five solo) in and a pass deflection during a 26-24 loss at the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 10, he made a season-high nine solo tackles and broke up a pass in the Falcons' 24-15 loss at the Philadelphia Eagles. On December 18, 2016, Neal tied his season-high with 11 combined tackles (five solo) and had a season-high two pass deflections during their 41-13 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. He finished his rookie season in 2016 with 105 total tackles (72 solo), nine passes defended, five forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 14 games and 14 starts.
The Atlanta Falcons finished first in the NFC South with an 11-5 record, while also clinching the number 2 seed in the NFC, and a first round bye in the playoffs. On January 13, 2017, Neal started his first career playoff game and led both teams with 11 combined tackles (ten solo) during the Falcons' 36-20 win against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Round. The following week, the Falcons defeated the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship. On February 6, 2017, Neal collected 13 combined tackles (nine solo) during the Falcons' 34-28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Defensive coordinator Richard Smith was fired after the Falcons' defense experienced a fourth quarter collapse and let the Patriots comeback from a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter. 
New Falcons' defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel opted to retain Neal and Allen as the starting safety duo to begin the regular season. In Week 7, Neal recorded a season-high ten combined tackles (six solo) and deflected a pass during a 23-7 loss at the New England Patriots. In Week 9, he collected eight combined tackles and forced two fumbles in Atlanta's 20-17 loss at the Carolina Panthers. On December 24, 2016, he tied his season-high with ten combined tackles (eight solo) and a pass deflection in the Falcons' 23-13 loss at the New Orleans Saints. The following week, Neal made five combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception off a pass by quarterback Cam Newton during a 22-10 victory against the Carolina Panthers. He finished the 2017 season with 116 combined tackles (83 solo), six pass deflections, three forced fumbles, and an interception in 16 games and 16 starts. He finished second in tackles for the Falcons, behind linebacker Deion Jones, and finished second in tackles among safeties behind Reshad Jones.
The Atlanta Falcons finished third in the NFC South with a 10-6 record. They received a wild card spot, but were eliminated from the playoffs after being defeated 15-10 by the eventual Super Bowl LII Champions the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Divisional Round. Neal recorded six combined tackles during their loss and had 14 combined total in both playoff games. On January 22, 2018, Neal was named to his first Pro Bowl as a replacement for safety Malcolm Jenkins due to his participation in Super Bowl LII with the Eagles.
During the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Neal left the game with a knee injury. He came back to the game only to leave the game again on a non-contact play.  The next day, it was confirmed that Neal tore his ACL, and would miss the remainder of the season. He was placed on injured reserve on September 10, 2018.
On April 24, 2019, the Falcons exercised the fifth-year option on Neal's contract. In third preseason game against the Washington Redskins, Neal dealt an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit against tight end Jordan Reed. Neal was fined $28,075.00 by the NFL for his hit on Reed. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Neal suffered a torn Achilles tendon just before halftime, ending his season prematurely for the second year in a row. He was placed on injured reserve on September 24, 2019.