Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile on linebacker Rashaan Evans out of the University of Alabama breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and whether he makes sense for the New York Jets.
In this 2018 NFL Draft profile, let’s take a look at Rashaan Evans. He’s the 6’3”, 234-pound linebacker whose defensive role in one of the most prolific college football programs in the country showcased his unique abilities. Evans showed us how instrumental his speed, prowess, and relentlessness is in leading to the eventual success of his future NFL home. Would he make sense for the New York Jets? Let’s take a look at everything he brings to the table.
So, the word around town is that defense wins championships. As this has proven true, Evans wins at defense. His versatility to play outside and middle linebacker positions, as well as defensive end on both the left and right edge, ensure his value.
One of the most exciting parts to watch in Evans’ game is his cobra-like posture as he stares down the seam right between the eyes of the quarterback.
Evans’ 2017 performance with 35 solo tackles, 39 assisted tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks was critical in forging a path of broken plays on course to a collegiate national championship. He is most disruptive from the inside. Yet, his speed from one side of the field to the other would make him an essential member of faster and more athletic NFL defenses.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
Particularly against the run is when the imperfections began to show. Here, is when Evans seems to shy away from the impact of the downhill runner at full speed.
Evans tackling is suspect as he appears too often to sit and wait for the runner to get beside him before engaging and wrapping up for a higher percentage tackle. One could wonder if he added 30 pounds of weight would he then be more prone to engage in more physical tackling.
In many of his plays, we see a fearless approach to making the ball carrier pay. However, some work at his form by getting lower and lifting, Evans then becomes a more effective and aggressive tackler.
As a defensive end, the Evans factor at times needs more creativity when striking off the edge as he too often finds himself matched against the bigger, stronger offensive tackles that reduce him to hand to hand combat.
The Jets need versatility. As Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan will be judged by their fruit, there is now nil room for error. This means, a player who comfortably lines up on either edge and/or as a back and exhibits a ‘killer make them pay style’ of play while stopping both the run and pass.
Maybe in the future, Evans could make sense for the Jets, but not in this year’s draft. As he is not the edge rushing sensation the Jets defense desperately needs. Besides, there are several more explosive backs at this position in the draft that will make a much more impressive defensive statement.
In any instance, Evans will find an NFL home no later than day two.