5. Rashaan Evans, LB (1st round, 2018)
2018: 53 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 QB hit, 1 PBU
The majority of the Tennessee Titans fan base needs to take a second and apologize to Rashaan Evans. Let me explain if you didn’t see it happen live.
In a class where Darius Leonard was racking up LB stats and guys like Leighton Vander Esch and Roquan Smith were doing fine, everyone was quick to pile on Evans when he started his year out slow in 2018, myself included.
At times he looked slow and confused and in the NFL those things usually go hand in hand. Was he another Alabama guy who just was better in Nick Saban’s system than at the NFL level?
Then the bye week came and went and all of the sudden it looked like Evans was the same guy he was in college. He was aggressive in the box, never letting a guy fall forward for a few extra yards without making him pay the price.
When runs went outside he seemed to understand his run fits a lot better and was sifting through the trash to be involved in play after play. The clearest example of this was the Jacksonville Jaguars game where he was constantly in the right spot, especially on a crucial 4th down run stop vs Leonard Fournette that basically ended the game for the Jags.
I’m not sure he will ever be an elite LB who thrives in coverage, but that isn’t how you should use him nor is it how the Titans are planning to use him. They should use him as a hybrid off the ball LB who moves down to EDGE in sub packages, sort of like how Mike Vrabel was used at different points in his career.