Scouting Report | LB Rashaan Evans – Alabama


Personal Background

  • Attended Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama
  • Chose Alabama over his hometown school, Auburn, and UCLA
  • Team captain as a senior
  • Father Alan played RB at Auburn but was beat out by Bo Jackson

Athletic Background

Injury history



  • 42 FBS games
    • Career – 84 solo tackles, 66 assisted, 23.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, five pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles
  • Pro Football Focus 2017 statistics –
    • Run stopping – 235 run snaps, 31 solo tackles, eight assists, two missed tackles, 20 stops, 8.5% run stop percentage
    • Tackling efficiency -9.3 combined total tackle efficiency
      • 235 run snaps, two missed tackles, 20.5 tackling efficiency
      • 256 pass snaps, four missed tackles, 5.8 tackling efficiency
    • Pass rushing productivity – 256 passing snaps, 85 pass rush snaps, 33.2 pass rush percentage, two sacks, nine QB hits, nine QB hurries, 18.2 pass rush productivity


Film Reviewed

  • Arkansas
  • Auburn
  • Florida State
  • LSU
  • Ole Miss
  • Texas A&M
  • Tennessee



  • Year – RS Junior
  • Height – 6’2″
  • Weight – 232 pounds
  • Projected 40 time – 4.73 (Per NFL Draft Scout)



  • Good athlete overall with an angular, muscular build
    • Good speed, agility, explosiveness, change of direction
    • Very good lateral quickness and agility
    • Plus play strength
  • A bully looking to inflict pain every chance he gets
  • Does everything at 100 miles per hour, sometimes reckless, but willing to sacrifice his body to make a play
  • Versus the run:
    • Physical downhill tone-setter
    • Looking to land first ‘blow’ on lineman then transfer the aggression to the ball carrier
    • Good key and diagnosis of run blocking concepts
      • Missiles through gaps to blow up the back on gap runs
      • Leads with strong hands, able to stack, leverage his gap with optimal hand placement, will grab cloth and throw linemen when the running back has committed to the entry point
      • Slips into his gap before the offensive lineman can fully come off blocks, puts his body into position to withstand the block, rips through and makes the tackle
      • Tricks offensive linemen into continuing along their zone track, but then utilizes his lateral explosiveness back against the flow to avoid the block and make a play on the ball
      • Able to process and carry out his assignment on the fly as jet action and motion are introduced
      • Scrapes with a purpose while closing the distance between himself and the ball carrier
      • As edge defender:
        • Very capable at the point of attack in a two point stance, has the necessary play strength to hold the line of scrimmage, possesses extremely good hand placement and grip
        • Able to keep contain and outside arm free, but can just as easily disengage and make the tackle inside as the back commits
  • Versus the pass:
    • Times blitzes well and attacks with hatred in his heart
    • Short, methodical backpedal into his zone with his eyes glued to the passer
    • Extends his zone in the direction of the the quarterbacks as they go into scramble mode
    • Possesses the athleticism to bluff blitz at the line of scrimmage but drop into zone, immediately plant and drive on crossers
    • Best role is as a ‘rat’ defender; shallow drop, reading the quarterback then attacking intended target or blitzing late in the play
    • Physical with tight ends through the drive phase
    • Able to cover backs or tight ends angling out to the flats, plays them inside out
  • As edge pass rusher:
    • Comfortable in a two or three point stance
    • Can rush the passer from both sides
    • Intimidator
    • Very good burst and lateral agility, decent bend and cornering abilities
    • In constant pursuit of the quarterback, relentless, violent and destructive
    • Constantly re-evaluating the drop of the quarterback and how to change his approach or plan of attack
    • Forceful long arm move, Tazmanian-like spin move that will be an issue for slow-footed offensive linemen; prefers to spin counter clockwise, so inside from the left side and outside from the right
    • Creates absolute chaos by attempting to run through offensive linemen and running backs looking to block him
    • Demonstrates the ability to change the pace of his rush on twists and games, then turns it up with his lateral burst as he loops into the quarterback’s field of vision
    • Sets up tackles with a stutter rush upfield, gets the tackles’ shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage giving him a two way go, then transitions to a violent swat to gain the corner


  • Still learning the position, shows moments of immaturity as a linebacker; still in the defensive lineman mindset
  • Not much finesse to his game
  • Needs to improve his angles to the ball on perimeter screens, swing passes to running backs and outside runs
  • Sees ‘red’ often, constantly looking for blood and it blinds him to the angle needed to properly leverage the ball and finish the play
    • Urge to punish opponents can put him out of position
    • While trying to inflict pain on offensive linemen versus the run, will lead with violent hands and uncoil his hips upward; at times will leave his feet, which can cause him to also miss out on plays on the ball
  • Quarterbacks can freeze him with their eyes
  • Appears to be a zone landmark coverage player
    • Needs to work on his angles to threats passing through his zone vertically
    • Half a click slow to recognize the #2 receiver’s route before screaming to the flats
  • Man coverage:
    • Wasn’t given the task of covering tight ends and running backs often; Alabama is a pattern matching and man coverage team, so most of the coverage responsibilities were carried out by defensive backs and Will linebacker
    • Above average athletic tight ends easily separate at the top of routes
    • Gets grabby at the top of routes
    • Has trouble staying in phase vertically as the receiver introduces breaks to the route
    • Will peek into the backfield and cause him to become flatfooted, at which time targets can pull away
  • Due to defensive scheming, he very rarely made plays on the ball in passing situations
  • Spin move is his go-to move, but is a little high when he executes it; could really refine the move if he uses his elbow and/or hand to stab or create the Dwight Freeney ‘ice pick’ technique; it would propel him toward the quarterback with a much tighter angle.





When you turn on Evans’s film, you are immediately drawn to the style of play he brings. He’s an alpha, an intimidator and a finisher.

He looks to inflict pain on his opponents on every single rep. On this play, the tackle pulls but is not anywhere close to ready to match the physicality Evans brings. Evans blows up the blocker and is then able to come in and rip the ball out from the back.


He sets the tone early in games. LSU and offensive coordinator Matt Canada attempt to run their patented power shovel, but Evans is prepared for it. He fires up his defensive teammates with a big hit on the tight end.


Good luck running the ball against him. Having played defensive line, he is very good at stacking and shedding, but most of all he uses his lateral burst and agility to leverage and insert into his gap. On this play, he takes a quick, extended lateral stride to stay over the top of the offensive lineman. Having played many years in the trenches, he possesses the play strength and leverage to to combat linemen.


That very same lateral ability flashes when he wants to avoid blocks. As a linebacker in the NFL, you are not always going to be able to match power with power. Sometimes you must use your athletic ability and change of direction to avoid a block. The Tigers use jet action to pull the eyes of the defenders, but also to pull them out of position. Evans doesn’t get fooled; he continues in the direction of the play. This makes the lineman think that he is going to continue flowing with the play.

The lineman then has an angle he must take to Evans in order to secure the second level for running back Derrius Guice. But Evans senses the cutback and quickly plants and drives back to his left.

The lateral burst allows him to steer clear of the lineman, then he plants hard with his left foot and drives downhill to close the amount of space Guice has to operate.


Now he is in his gap, squared up to the runner, and minimizes what appeared to be a possible explosive run by the talented back.


Much like the last play, offenses are now utilizing several motions pre-snap to confuse defenders and outflank the defense. The action often changes run gap responsibilities or causes a defender to hesitate, in turn giving the offense the upper hand. The Tigers use this pre-snap movement, but Evans again isn’t phased by the play. Guice gets the ball on a jet-sweep-like play call, but Evans shuts it down!


Evans finished with 10 tackles and one sack versus LSU last season. All of his strengths were on full display versus one of the premier schemes and running backs in the nation. On this play, the offense uses the jet action, but Evans stays true to his keys, diagnoses the zone run blocking scheme, gets downhill, leads with his strong hands, and the force stuns the tight end and makes Guice cut inside, even though his pre-snap read said to bounce it.


Evans will be a tremendous asset as a pass rusher. He can blitz from depth when aligned at the linebacker position, but he also gives coordinators the option to rush as a defensive end. He possesses a quick first step to threaten upfield, the ability to change the pace of his rush, which can set him up to use a quick spin move or violent swipe to win one on one matchups.


Evans just finished his first season as an inside linebacker, so he still has a ton to learn about the position. One of those areas are his angles to the ball. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s definitely an area he can improve. On WR screens, swing routes to backs, and even on some outside runs he takes too flat of an angle to the ball. This can create issues if the ball carrier has equal or better speed or the ability to make you miss. The Tigers run a bootleg to Guice and, while Evans is all over it, he takes a bad angle to the ball, sees an opportunity to inflict pain on the tight end, and ultimately misses the tackle. He has to understand that his teammate has the play contained and that it’s his duty to bring Guice down.


One of the major question marks I have about Evans are his coverage skills. He blitzed 33.2% of the time in 2017, often aligning as an edge rusher on obvious down-and-distances. The staff also utilized him in a ‘rat”spy role quite often, leaving most of the coverage duties to the secondary. That’s because he is still so raw at processing route combinations, and he doesn’t appear to be adept in space or consistently able to cover up threats.


At times he will lose targets at the top of routes or peek into the backfield, which allows separation. This is an area that he must quickly improve.


His physical nature also worries me. He will do whatever it takes to send a message, to land a blow, to be the ‘hitman’ of the defense. But sometimes it is at the expense of his health. That is a tough switch to turn off. On this play, Evans attempts to get a piece of the running back as he releases, but the movement hurt Evans more than the back. His reckless style of play along with his history of serious groin injuries is something to keep an eye on.



Linebacker Rashaan Evans offers so much versatility for teams at the next level. He has played multiple positions, understands the fundamental principles and modes of winning for those positions, but he also lacks some important skills in those roles. He can dominate in the box versus the run, attack the quarterback from the linebacker or edge rusher position in passing situations, but will most likely struggle in coverage early on in his NFL career.

While he played Mike linebacker last season, I believe he will need to be plugged into the Will linebacker role of a 4-3 defense or the same position in a 3-4 scheme. These positions will allow coordinators to maximize his abilities as a downhill defender and closer. But that role will also allow his new team to use him in their blitz packages.

While he is a fit in those schemes versus the run, I think he is best served as a zone defender against the pass. He is very good at bluffing blitz and dropping to landmarks on the field to deter throws. His lack of coverage experience can be hidden more in a zone defense, as he is just a piece of the overall scheme. His tendency to peek into the backfield will allow offensive players to separate on Sundays if asked to play man coverage frequently.

Overall, Evans graded out to a 5.045, which is just inside the first round. He has a very high floor and a chance to grow into a very good linebacker at the next level.