Jordan Evans, LB
School: Oklahoma | Conference: BIG-12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 235 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Kwon Alexander
I’m surprised Jordan Evans isn’t being talked about more at this point in the draft season. I’m doubly surprised that he wasn’t extended a Combine invitation after an excellent senior season. The Combine definitely doesn’t ensure or necessarily help a player to be drafted and those not invited aren’t doomed to not making it in the NFL. It would have been nice though to see Evans test against the bigger names this year. Evans is a physical linebacker with good athleticism and instincts. He has the vision and speed to read a play and shoot through a gap to make a stop but he also has dramatically improved his coverage skills over the past year as well. Evans is proficient in this area and had made several interceptions and pass break ups this year just from reading the QB’s eyes and staying disciplined in his zone. Evans is going to present real value at the inside linebacker position in the mid to late rounds.
- Solid technique as a tackler and lead the Sooners defense in that area.
- Great athleticism for the position. He has the speed and acceleration to quickly shoot a gap or help clog a lane. He also moves well in open space and generally takes good angles.
- Excellent as a coverage linebacker. He made great strides from his junior to senior year in production in that area and overall his awareness on the field in space and in zone coverage.
- Good instincts for the position. He knows where the ball is going and tries to get there as quick as possible.
- A tad undersized for the position even as a MIKE in a 3-4. Could stand to put on as little as 5 pounds of quality mass.
- Lack of ideal size and strength shows up when he gets lost in the fray sometimes and is unable to disengage.
- Needs to fight through blocks more consistently.
Let’s see his work:
Samaje Perine, Dede Westbrook and Charles Walker earn NFL Combine invites. No Jordan Evans, Ahmad Thomas. #Sooners— Spenser Davis (@Davis_Spenser) February 13, 2017
Why am I not seeing anyone talk about Jordan Evans? (LB, Oklahoma). 6-foot-2, 235 pounds. Great in coverage.— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) February 15, 2017
Jordan Evans was the first Oklahoma player ever to record 2 INTs and 2 sacks in the same game vs. Baylor in 2016.— Brian Carriveau (@BrianCarriveau) January 3, 2017
Emmanuel Beal, Jordan Evans, and Ahmad Thomas fill all the gaps with Evans making a play. Impressive stuff: pic.twitter.com/GN2hD231Bx— Kegan Reneau (@KeganOUUpdated) January 3, 2017
Jordan Evans has been playing out of his mind the majority of this year. Very impressive.— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) January 3, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Jordan Evans may not get selected in the first three rounds of this draft but I think he is a player who could create some competition at the middle linebacker position for a lot of teams. That includes the Redskins where the lack of athleticism and arguably instincts at the position are obviously lacking from both its current middle linebackers. Coverage is where Evans really excels though and the Redskins could use a linebacker that could patrol the middle of the defense in zone coverage or stick to running backs or tight ends.
Evans still needs to work on getting stronger and developing a better technique to shed blocks before he can be considered a complete linebacker but he already has the basic physical tools to play the position well. At worst I think Evans is a solid option to play special teams and I would argue he should be subbed into packages implemented on obvious passing downs.