Chris Evans, OLB, Auburn

Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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Chris Evans, OLB, Auburn

Postby Pudge » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:40 am

Chris Evans
5-11/227 Auburn
4.95 Senior

Pros: He has good speed and is a smart player with good instincts. Does a good job playing his assignments. Works well in pursuit and comfortable in space. Gets good drops in zone coverage and is capable in man coverage due to nice quickness. Has good closing speed and a capable tackler in the open field.

Cons: Struggles at the point of attack. Tends to run around blocks and get sucked up in traffic. Undersized.

Overview: Evans is a good fit as an outside linebacker and shows nice versatility and is a steady player in Auburn's defense. He moved from OLB to MLB after Tray Blackmon's injury. He's faster than he times.

NFL Forecast: At the very least, Evans will make a solid nickel linebacker at the next level. But I think he can be developed into a capable starting weakside linebacker in the 4-3. He'll add nice depth for a team, and then three or four years down the road can challenge for and win a starting job. He's good in coverage and plays smart and fast. He needs to get stronger so he can improve at the point of attack. If he does that, I think he can be fine there, at least enough that it doesn't overshadow his strengths in coverage. But he's not going to really impact until he gets stronger. He should be a player that plays several years in the league, because I think he can overcome his lack of ideal NFL size with smart, steady play.

ATL Forecast: He adds depth to the Falcons linebacker corps and is able to push James for the top duties on the weakside. More than likely, he could land the last spot on the roster at linebacker, and will be asked to play mainly special teams at least his first two or so years. But then could move up the depth chart and then beyond that it's anyone's guess. He could continue to be a solid backup, but if he does get a starting opportunity down the road, I'd expect him to make the most of it. Is not going to be an impact starter, but can be effective because of his potential impact in coverage.

Value: Evans is a solid late round pick that I'd probably look to take in the sixth round.
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