The Titans pulled the trigger on a trade on Thursday night with the Ravens, getting to the 22nd pick to take Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans. I was initially a little underwhelmed with the pick, but after seeing how things played out — the Titans could have certainly done a lot worse.
We broke down the Titans’ draft night on Locked on Titans below.
Robinson filled the Titans’ need at inside linebacker, but perhaps more importantly got a bit of a chess piece that defensive coordinator Dean Pees will be able to move around.
At this point, you can probably sharpie in Wesley Woodyard and Rashaan Evans as your starters in the 3-4 base package. Evans will fill the void that Avery Williamson left. He’ll be able to use his explosive first step to come downhill and help the Titans stop the run.
Where things will get interesting will be on third down. A lot will be made of Evans’ ability to get after the passer — something he did quite often at Alabama. I see a scenario where Evans stays on the field on passing downs, but comes forward to the line of scrimmage. Jayon Brown can stay in his role from last year and handle coverage duties.
Evans certainly doesn’t fill Tennessee’s long-term need at edge rusher, but there’s no doubt that he can help out in spots. He doesn’t have the size or length (6-2, 232) needed to be an every down threat off the edge, but he’s going to be able to win a few reps with his burst alone.
Like this one.
Scouts were concerned with Evans’ long speed and ability to stick in coverage. He chose not to run a 40 yard dash, which brought those speed questions to the surface. Evans certainly has some ability in coverage, particularly with his ability to change direction. But I’d guess the Titans are more interested in his work inside of the front seven, especially with Jayon Brown on the roster. His physicality and sudden burst should be immediate assets for Pees.
So while there are lingering questions about what Evans can bring to the table in coverage, he sort of makes up for that with his pass rushing and physicality while blitzing. Alabama utilized him all over the field during his time in Tuscaloosa and I’m betting that the Titans have a similar role planned for him in Nashville.
Expect Evans to do a little bit of everything for the Titans’ defense this fall and beyond.