Analysts unanimously view linebacker Rashaan Evans as a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Evans made huge improvements over his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide and has the versatility to play on the inside or outside at the next level.
“You never know with a rookie, but ultimately, you’re dealing with a guy in Evans who’s a three-down player,” ESPN analyst Greg Cosell said in a teleconference. “And I think if you can draft a three-down player at the linebacker position in today’s NFL, then that guy is a really, really valuable player.”
The Tennessee Titans or Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be the most likely teams to select Evans. The Titans have three linebackers playing in the final year of their contract this season (Wesley Woodyard, Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan), and all three will be over 30 years old by the season’s end. Ten of 27 draft analysts predict Tennessee will draft Evans in Titansonline writer Jim Wyatt’s tour of the Titan’s mocks.
"I'm proud of myself for fighting through injury and showing that I'm a guy that can fight through adversity."
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) April 23, 2018
Pittsburgh is in a similar situation with the loss of Ryan Shazier to a series spinal injury last season.
“Pittsburgh, obviously, at 28 would be a real good fit as an inside ‘backer,” ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said in a teleconference. “They need that with Ryan Shazier’s injury status and how that defense fell back when he was hurt. So, I think if he gets down to 28 and the Steelers, that would be a great fit for Evans. And if he can stay healthy — and durability is a concern — but if he can stay healthy, for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he would be a great addition because he can be an inside guy, and you can put him outside in pass-rush situations.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 21, 2018
Evans battled a painful groin injury for most of his senior season with the Crimson Tide. It prevented him from participating in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which raises questions about the linebacker’s durability.
Look for Evans to fall somewhere between the New England Patriot’s two first-round picks at 23 and 31.
- 30-inch vertical jump
- 116-inch broad jump
- 6.95 seconds, three-cone drill
- 4.36 seconds, 20-yard shuttle