On Monday the Tennessee Titans’ official Twitter page shared a link to Jim Wyatt’s article showing 27 media predictions for the Titans’ 25th overall pick.
Out of that group, 11 different players appeared at No. 25 for the Titans, but one player was mentioned much more frequently than the rest: Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans.
Ten of the 27 analysts predicted Tennessee to go with Evans in the first round, the most by a wide margin. Finishing second among those predictions was Boston College linebacker Harold Landry, who was mocked to the Titans by four analysts.
The Titans’ official Twitter account also hinted at the possibly of drafting Evans, sharing this video on Titans Draft Names To Know:
"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
Evans would certainly fill a needed role in coach Mike Vrabel’s defense at linebacker. Current Titans linebackers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are entering the final year of their respective contracts, and will be over the age of 30 by the season’s end.
The Alabama prospect was forced to back up current NFL linebackers Reuben Foster, Ryan Anderson and Reggie Ragland in his first few years with the Crimson Tide, but showed major improvement in his senior season.
Evans played 12 games for the Crimson Tide as a senior, generating 74 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. All of those numbers were improved from his junior season, despite playing a similar number of snaps both years.
“I think he’s a really interesting player, and I think when you watch him on tape, he’s fascinating because of how he’s used,” ESPN analyst Greg Cosell said in a teleconference. “Clearly if you’re talking about him in a base defense, he’s a stack linebacker. He’s a will-type player because he can play sideline to sideline. He can play inside-out with his speed and range. But the way Nick Saban used him at Alabama was fascinating because he was a pass rusher at times, both on the inside and outside, and he was pretty good at it.”
Durability is a concern for Evans, who battled a groin injury for most of last season. As a result of that injury he did not run in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, but he did finish with a solid time of 4.36 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.
“You never know with a rookie, but ultimately, you’re dealing with a guy in Evans who’s a three-down player,” Cosell said. “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.”
Evans would already have some built-in chemistry on the Titans as well, winning the College Football Playoff in 2015 with running back Derrick Henry. The two friends appeared together in the Titans’ video of Henry making a trip back to Alabama’s campus.
Go Back 2 Campus with @KingHenry_2 👑
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) April 20, 2018
Is Evans the best pick for the Titans at No. 25? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s hard to go wrong with a proven linebacker from the national champions.