NFL Draft Prospect Breakdown: Rashaan Evans

Other Breakdowns

Quenton Nelson – 93/100
Saquon Barkley
 – 92/100
Tremaine Edmunds – 89/100
Bradley Chubb – 89/100
Derwin James – 88/100
Roquan Smith – 87/100
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 87/100
Harold Landry – 85/100
Will Hernandez – 84/100
Baker Mayfield – 84/100
Sam Darnold – 83/100
Josh Rosen – 83/100
Lamar Jackson – 82/100
Marcus Davenport – 82/100
Calvin Ridley – 81/100
Josh Allen – 77/100
Leighton Vander Esch – 77/100

Stats, Awards, and Accolades

evans

Class: Senior
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 232 lbs
Awards & Accolades: Second Team All-SEC (2017), First Team All-American (2017)

Evans played meaningful snaps all four years at Alabama, and increased his sack total each and every year, including a 13 tackle for loss, six-sack campaign in his senior year that netted him All-American honors. Evans did not run or bench press at the combine, but in the past he has ran in the low 4.6 range, a little bit above average for linebackers. He doesn’t rely on pure athleticism like you see with many players in this draft, his pass rushing technique is top notch after four years under Saban.

For this breakdown, I rewatched two of Evans’ games from his senior year. I watched the primetime rivalry game against LSU, as well as the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson, which also happened to be in primetime. Those two offenses ranked 22nd and 21st respectively in Bill Connely’s offensive rankings for the 2017 season, and because they were both on big stages, I will get a chance to see how Rashaan Evans performs under pressure.

Pros

Big hitter
Nasty, mean streak
Can be an edge rusher
Could also play linebacker
High football IQ
Solid in pass coverage
Good bend
Great hands in pass rush
Many ways to shed blocks
Fits perfectly as a sam linebacker
Played tough competition

Cons

Tackles high
Can over pursue
Bites on play action too often
Can miss on tackles
Was injured in 2017

Grades

Speed – 7.5/10
Coverage – 7/10
Tackling – 8.5/10
Block-Shedding – 8.5/10
Pass Rush – 9.5/10

Scheme Fits

Middle Linebacker – 9/10
Weak-Side Linebacker – 6.5/10
Strong-Side Linebacker – 10/10

Overall Grade: 84/100

A reminder, this where I think he should go, not where he will go, these rankings also DO NOT take into account positional importance

90+ Superstar
85+ Elite Player (Top Ten)
80+ First Round Talent
77+ Second Round Talent
74+ Third Round Talent
66+ Third Day Talent (Rounds 4-7)

10/10 Rating – Best in the class or close to it
7.5/10 Rating – Average
5/10 Rating – Poor

Evans isn’t the most physically gifted athlete, but over the course of his four years at Alabama, he has developed some of the best pass rushing skills for any linebacker I evaluated this season. Evans has a great first step, nice bend, he flips his hips, he makes very good use of hands, and can bat defenders off of him consistently. Evans is solid, but not great in coverage, he can get the job done at times, and is very good at anticipating where the ball will be thrown. Evans occasionally plays with a hand in the dirt, but to me he would fit best as a linebacker at the NFL level, most likely a sam, but he could play inside linebacker if a team needed him to. My biggest criticism of Evans would be that he can become too aggressive, and overpursue a ball carrier that might not have the ball. By that I mean that he bites on play action a lot, and that is something that will need to be worked on when he gets into an NFL linebackers’ room.

I do think I am higher on Evans than most, I see him as a top fifteen player in the draft while the NFL likely will draft him late in the first round. To me, Evans is everything you want in a sam linebacker, he has decent size, is one of the best blitzers from the second level in the class, he has great hands to bat defenders off of him, and he is solid if you ever need to drop him back in zone coverage. As I said, he will likely be a top fifteen player on my big board, but is more likely to be in the 20s for most NFL teams

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