*Our LB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

 

My first reaction to looking over Evans’s scouting data was my typical knee-jerk reaction to his situation – a solid prospect getting pushed to the moon because he went to Alabama. He didn’t put up major stats at Alabama and ducked out of the 40-yard dash at the Combine and his Pro Day…and I do mean ‘ducked’. He’s doing all the other drills, so he has to be hiding a likely 40-time problem.

I was biased against him as a first-round prospect as I sampled some of his work pre-Combine and saw the Combine data, but when I set out for a deeper study of Evans, as I progressed through the info…I warmed up to him. I’ve gone from ‘no’ to ‘on the fence’.

Where I see hope here – Evans admitted to playing with a torn groin early in the 2017 season. He injured it opening week and kept playing through it. After a few weeks of so-so play and then a week off, Evans started to pick up the pace of his play and his output the rest of the season – into the sharp teeth of the schedule.

In the 5 games immediately after his groin injury…31 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks.

In the 5 games after Alabama’s week off (ignoring their Mercer game where Evans played sparingly), from their 7th game of the season on – 45 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks. As the schedule got tougher and as Evans returned closer to healthy, there was a noticeable uptick in his play and output.

The tape shows a very legitimate inside linebacker, possibly the best ILB prospect in the draft (in a weak class). Evans has a classic approach at ILB. He’s patient playing the run. He doesn’t get blocked out of plays often. He doesn’t take wild gambles blitzing lanes and leaving his spot open all the time. He drops back in coverage nicely. He has terrific feet and is a solid form tackler. He rushes the passer/backfield with skill and quickness. He’s a good-looking player. Not the greatest linebacker I’ve ever seen, but he’s solid.

The downside that I see… He’s a little limited athletically, on paper. A 30.0” vertical is not a good sign considering other details -- a 9’8” broad jump is ‘meh’, skipping 40-time and bench press repeatedly is a little worrisome…skipping some while he’s doing everything else. Evans leans ‘good-not-great’, at best.

Evans looks NFL-‘useful’ at worst…I don’t see a bust like I did with Rueben Foster – and Evans is a solid person, by all accounts…high character, a team captain. I’m not against Evans as a top 100 prospect but I just don’t know that I see a top 30 one. The ceiling doesn’t look all that high…but he’s not going to hurt you on the downside.

 

Rashaan Evans, Through the Lens of Our ILB Scouting Algorithm:


I’m not in love with his lower solo tackle counts. Three or fewer solo tackles in a game in 13 of his last 21 games. The silver lining in there – 4 or more solo tackles in five of his final 6 games, and the one game he didn’t was a cupcake game against Mercer where he didn’t play as much. Evans was improving all 2017 and improving all his career after a slower start waiting behind all the other talent. He may be about to come into his own.

12.5 TFLs and 6.0 sacks in his last 8 games…as he got healthy. A nice sign. 

8.5 tackles, 1.25 TFLs, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 PDs per game in the CFB playoffs last season.


2018 NFL Combine measurables…

6’1.7”/232, 10” hands, 32.25” arms

DNP 40-time, shuttle, 6.95 three-cone

DNP bench, 30.0” vertical, 9’8” broad jump


The Historical ILB Prospects to Whom Rashaan Evans Most Compares Within Our System:


A mixed bag of comps, as far as NFL future success…but most of the comps aren’t ultra-favorable. 


ILB Score

Last

First

Yr


College

H

H

W

Tackle, Strngth Metric

Speed, Agility Metric

6.185

Evans

Rashaan

2018

Alabama

6

1.7

232

4.71

4.63

3.959

Longino

Antonio

2016

Arizona

6

2.0

235

5.82

5.11

4.549

Dieuseul

Charles

2013

Mt. Union

5

10.7

235

6.55

8.84

4.620

Timmons

Lawrence

2007

Florida St

6

0.7

234

5.82

8.92

5.068

Foster

Reuben

2017

Alabama

6

0.0

229

6.78

7.50

6.611

Vigil

Nick

2016

Utah St

6

2.3

239

7.77

6.32

5.368

Boyd

Xavius

2014

W. Kentucky

6

1.6

239

7.05

1.72

8.066

Brown

Blair

2017

Ohio 

5

11.4

238

8.98

7.52


*A score of 8.00+ is where we see a stronger correlation of LBs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system, and indicates a greater probability of becoming an NFL elite LB.

All of the LB ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Tackle-Strength Metrics = A combination of several physical and performance measurements. An attempt to classify the LB prospect's ability to stop the run, as well as to gauge how physical the player is, and the likelihood of higher tackle counts in the NFL. All based on profiles of LBs historically.

Speed-Agility Metrics = A combination of several speed, agility, and size measurements...as well as game performance data to profile a LB for speed/agility based on LBs historically. A unique measuring system to look for LBs that profile for quickness, pass-coverage ability, and general ability to cover more ground.

2018 NFL Draft Outlook:

Because the ILB draft class is a bit thin in 2018, I could see a team reaching for Evans top 30. It’s not a crazy proposition. I suspect he goes #25-40.

If I were an NFL GM, I just don’t see enough to get excited about to make this pick. I see intriguing guys after pick #100 at ILB – so, why waste a top 30 pick on a solid/maybe ILB-OLB? 


NFL Outlook:   

Will be drafted to play early. Will be a solid hand but not anything super special. Good/solid, not likely ‘bad’ or ‘great’. If he hadn’t gone to Alabama, he’d be a backup player in development for a few years.









4/23/2018