Alim McNeill Poised for Breakout Season with Detroit Lions

Chris Long’s “Green Light” Podcast Highlights McNeill’s Potential

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alim McNeill recently made an appearance on the “Green Light” podcast, hosted by former NFL veteran defensive lineman Chris Long. The interview not only showcased McNeill’s unique personality but also sparked a wave of reactions from NFL analysts and former players who believe the young defensive tackle is on the verge of a breakout season.

Beau Allen’s Film Room Breakdown

Following McNeill’s appearance on the “Green Light” podcast, former NFL nose tackle Beau Allen took to the film room to analyze McNeill’s performance in the NFC Championship Game. In a comprehensive 22-minute breakdown, Allen highlighted McNeill’s dominant showing, despite modest box score numbers (two tackles, 1.0 sack, 2 QB hits).

Allen’s analysis delved into all aspects of McNeill’s game, emphasizing his impressive PFF scores (71.6 overall, 81.6 pass rush grade) and his impact on the field. Allen praised McNeill’s technique, twitchiness as a pass rusher, and active hands, concluding with an optimistic outlook on the 23-year-old’s future:

“He’s a really good player. Love hearing his story about how productive he’s been in 2023 (since) changing his body type, taking the game of football very seriously. I think he plays with really good technique. He’s very, very twitchy as a pass rusher, super active hands. I think he has really good technique in the run game as well. I thought he played really well in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers.”

NFL Analysts Predict Big Things for McNeill

Allen isn’t the only one who sees huge potential for McNeill in the upcoming season. NFL Network analyst Ben Fennell took to Twitter, seemingly unprompted, to share his thoughts on the Lions’ situation and McNeill’s future:

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“Alim McNeill bout to have a MONSTER season in 2024 & earn a MONSTER contract next offseason… DJ Reader’s experience and dominance vs the run will allow Alim more pass rush opportunities… 6+ sacks could be in play for the big fella”

The addition of veteran defensive tackle DJ Reader to the Lions’ roster is expected to have a significant impact on McNeill’s performance. Reader himself expressed his excitement about collaborating with McNeill and learning from each other:

“I watch him all the time on film, so I’m excited to just get around him and be able to pick his brain, what he likes about the position. Every guy’s got different things they like about playing d-tackle. I got my own things I enjoy about playing defensive tackle. So I just want to talk to him about it, and pick his brain and see what he’s got going on, and what our future holds.”

Rising Defensive Tackle Salaries

As McNeill enters the final year of his rookie contract, his potential breakout season could lead to a substantial payday in 2025. Defensive tackle salaries have been on the rise, with 11 players currently earning an average of at least $20 million per year:

  • Chris Jones
  • Christian Wilkins
  • Justin Madubuike
  • Derrick Brown
  • Quinnen Williams
  • Jeffery Simmons
  • Daron Payne
  • Dexter Lawrence
  • Leonard Williams
  • DeForest Buckner
  • Javon Hargrave
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If McNeill continues his upward trajectory and delivers a dominant performance in the 2024 season, he could potentially join this list of highly-paid defensive tackles.

PlayerAverage Annual Salary
Chris Jones$20+ million
Christian Wilkins$20+ million
Justin Madubuike$20+ million
Derrick Brown$20+ million
Quinnen Williams$20+ million

Table 1: Top 5 highest-paid defensive tackles by average annual salary.

With the support of veteran teammates like DJ Reader and the recognition of his potential by analysts and former players, Alim McNeill is well-positioned to have a breakout season in 2024. As the Detroit Lions continue to build their defensive line, McNeill’s development and success will be a key factor in the team’s overall performance and future success.

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