A native of Merrillville, Indiana, he attended Merrillville High School where he was first team all-state as senior after totaling 59 tackles, including 24 for loss and 12 sacks, with 20 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups and one blocked kick. As a junior, had 49 tackles, including 14 for loss and four sacks, with three pass breakups and one fumble recovery.
Neal attended Purdue University from 2005 to 2009. After redshirting his 2005 freshman year, he appeared in nine games as a sophomore, he had nine tackles, including 1.0 for loss, and one pass breakup despite missing five games with turf toe injury. In 2007, he appeared in all 13 games, and recorded 22 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks, with one pass breakup. In 2008, he appeared in all 12 games, including 11 starts. He ranked second on team with 5.5 sacks and third with 10.0 tackles for loss, while adding 33 total tackles. As a redshirt senior, he started all 12 games, finishing third on the team in tackles for loss with 11.5 and second in sack with 5.0, while forcing one fumble.
Neal was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round, with the 56th pick, in the 2010 NFL Draft. In 2014, he recorded 5 sacks, 1 interception and about 47 tackles. On March 12, 2013, he re-signed with the Packers on a two-year deal. Neal played 2 games during his rookie season in 2010 with a sack and a fumble recovery on 3 tackles. The Packers finished the season with a 10-6 record good enough to clinch a wild card spot and would eventually make it to Super Bowl XLV, winning 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Neal gained a little more playing time in 2011 where he played 7 games with 4 tackles. The Packers clinched an NFC North pennant with a 15-1 record but lost to the eventual Super Bowl champNew York Giants 20-37 in the NFC Divisional Round. Gaining more playing time in 2012, Neal played 11 games with 1 start and made 11 tackles with 4.5 sacks. The Packers clinched another NFC pennant with a 11-5 record but were defeated 31-45 against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round. In 2013, Neal played all 16 games for the first time of his career with 50 tackles, 5 sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery. The Packers clinched another NFC North pennant with an 8-7-1 record, but again lost to the 49ers 20-23 in the NFC Wild Card Round. In 2014, Neal played all 16 games with 42 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The Packers clinched another NFC North pennant with a 12-4 record, but lost to the Seattle Seahawks 22-28 in overtime during the NFC Championship game.