Alabama Football: Rashaan Evans, run or not into the NFL Draft 1st Round

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Nick Chubb
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Nick Chubb /

Rashaan Evans had a tremendous Alabama football career. In preparation for the NFL Draft, Rashaan has chosen to not run and that may cost him a 1st Round selection.

Rashaan Evans had to wait his turn to become an Alabama football star. When that turn came, Evans made the most of it. As a junior, in the national championship loss to Clemson, Rashaan made 11 tackles. He was also one of the Tide’s most versatile linebackers ever, adept at working inside or outside.

Most of his last two seasons were spent as an inside linebacker, but his most impressive skill was rushing the passer as an outside linebacker. Having the talent and experience to play both positions makes Evans valuable on an NFL 53-player roster.

Injuries slowed Rashaan during the 2017 season. He injured his groin against FSU and was never 100 percent for the remainder of the season. Despite that, he earned AFCA First-Team All American status. He was also voted First-Team All-SEC by the AP and Second-Team All-SEC by the conference coaches.

Likely First Round Pick

Most NFL mock drafts have Rashaan being selected late in the first round. There are some thoughts he may slip into the second round. The reason he may slip into the second round is nagging doubt about his health. Evans did not run a ’40’ at the NFL Combine or at either one of the Alabama football Pro Days. Teams were expecting him to run on the second Pro Day but Rashaan declined.

Evans insists he has no lingering issues from the groin injury. In workouts, he has appeared to be fully fit. Still, there has to be a reason he chose to not get a current ’40’ time. He was timed by scouts last year. He has been reported to have run 4.6 and 4.7 times in the past. Perhaps he knew he could not beat a 4.6 and did not want to risk running a slower time this spring.

Where does Rashaan land in the NFL?

The Pittsburgh Steelers need an inside linebacker. They might use the 28th pick to take Evans. New Orleans is another good possibility, one pick earlier at the 27th.

There is some chatter Evans may go as high as 19th to the Dallas Cowboys. The Falcons are reported to be interested in Evans and Atlanta has the 26th pick.

Some may ask why any team would allocate a first-round slot to a player who did not want an updated ’40’ time. It could be because there are more unknowns than normal in this year’s NFL Draft. As NFL scouting veteran Gil Brandt explains,

If Brandt is correct, that could make the lower half of the First Round a guessing game. Whether that helps or hurts Rashaan Evans remains to be seen.

Next: Mock Draft for all Tide, Draft prospects

The opening round of the 2018 NFL Draft takes place on April 27th. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Rashaan Evans have been invited.