After hosting Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne for a 30-visit earlier this week, the Cowboys have also reportedly met with Payne’s college teammate, linebacker Rashaan Evans.
Alabama LB Rashaan Evans visiting the Cowboys today.
Rashaan Evans is an interesting prospect, and one the team might consider in the first round. While I have my reservations about taking any linebacker not named Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds at 19, Evans is “LB3” on my own board.
In college, Evans played as both an off ball linebacker and an edge player on passing downs. While effective as an edge rusher, Evans isn’t nearly the polished rusher you’d want when allowing a player to be your third-down rushing specialist. I think Evans would be a full-time off ball linebacker for the Cowboys, and an effective one at that. Still, he could be used in sub packages as a pass rusher, or even just as a blitzer, to get to the quarterback.
As an off ball linebacker, Evans is an athletic sideline-to-sideline player who flies around making plays on tape. It’s tough to standout on film when playing alongside the talent on Alabama’s defense, but Evans did so every week.
And here it is for LB. Better set of training data so should be more predictive of future picks. LVE is a freak athletically.
At 6’1″ and 232 pounds, Evans is actually a bit smaller than most linebackers the Cowboys tend to target in the draft. His 3 cone time and broad jump both surpass the Cowboys’ athletic thresholds, and his 20 yard shuttle just misses the mark by 0.3 seconds.
As high as I am on Rashaan Evans, I don’t think he would be the right pick 19th overall. In fact, as I just mentioned, I don’t think Dallas should be taking any linebacker outside of the top two guys in round one. Not only is there is enough depth in this class for the Cowboys to snag a linebacker at 50th or 81st overall, but I also don’t see linebacker as all that important a position to upgrade.
You win on defense in the NFL with defensive linemen and cornerbacks first. Dallas has already upgraded their cornerback group, now it’s time to add an impact defensive tackle before addressing their linebacker needs.