The Jacksonville Jaguars had the top rushing attack in the regular season last year but now they have to play linebacker Rashaan Evans twice a year. The Tennessee Titans have upgraded their linebacking corps with the No. 22 overall selection (after trading up with the Baltimore Ravens) tonight,
Who is Evans as a linebacker? Let’s read what Alex Kirshner to say:
Alabama liked to move him around. That speaks to Evans’ strengths — he specifically cites Hightower’s multi-position career as a thing to emulate — but it means there’s not a ton of tape on Evans as a middle linebacker. That’s his likely pro position, especially after he weighed in at about 6’2 and 232 pounds at the combine. He’d be on the smaller side for an edge rusher, but he has the speed and agility to be an ideal inside backer in the NFL.
“I feel like the game is changing a lot,” Evans told me during an interview session at the NFL Combine. “Linebackers are now having to kind of walk out and line up on receivers and be able to have more versatility. I think that’s a good thing for a guy like me to be able to do so many, multiple positions. It just lets them know that they have a lot more chances to change up different schemes and be able to fit me in wherever they need me to fit in.”
Evans spent much of his Alabama career as a Will linebacker, lining up on the weak side away from tight ends. He moved to the Mike position on the inside for the Tide’s College Football Playoff run at the end of the 2016 season, because starter Shaun Dion Hamilton got hurt. He was primarily back on the weak side in 2017, though an avalanche of injuries to Bama’s other linebackers led him to work some in the middle, too. When he was at the Sam spot during the ‘16 Playoff run, he looked plenty tough enough for it.
Read more of Evans’ evaluation and see some film here.