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Justin Evans: A talented dual safety option

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2017 Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

Texas A&M v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Justin Evans, S
School: Texas A&M | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 199 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Reshad Jones

College Statistics

Player Overview

Justin Evans is a very athletic and rangy safety with the skill set and talent to play both safety positions in the NFL. Evans’ ability to play the ball is very good. He’s notched some impressive interceptions and passes deflected in his career and has the ball skills and athleticism to haul in picks other defensive backs can’t. He can cover quite a bit of ground while playing deep coverage but Evans can also come up in coverage and to the line of scrimmage and lay the wood. The hard hitter trait has not eluded him but consistency in wrapping up and the angles he takes when making a tackle in open space have. Evans may have missed his chance to be a first round pick this year because of this tackling issue but if he can take to coaching and improve his open field tackles and angles taken he has a chance to be an all pro in the NFL at either safety spot.

Strengths

  • Great athlete with great ball skills, reflexes, instincts and understanding of the position.
  • Fluid and smooth in his movements and drop. Makes covering 30 or 40 yards of field look like a walk in the park.
  • Has the physicality and desire to knock people silly. Has no objections in squaring up and using his body to make a stop.
  • Excellent closing speed and burst allow him to play a bit off and jump routes after he peeks where the ball is going. Big play ability is there.

Weaknesses

  • Overaggressive attitude can get him in trouble in coverage and when trying to bring down an opponent. Bites hard and can get sold down the river on play action and pump fakes. Either he is overconfident in his athleticism or has a serious case of farsightedness at times when going in for the tackle because he can miss at point blank range.
  • Can get caught up prioritizing the ball over the receiver and vice versa. Needs to learn how to see both to avoid get lost on routes in man coverage and to avoid penalties.
  • If he’s going to pop people on a consistent basis he could stand to add a little mass and strength. This would also potentially help him fight through the trash more effectively on run plays.

Let’s see his work:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Evans missed the combine drills in February/March because of a strained hamstring. In early April if Justin Evans posts numbers at his pro day that match or exceed the eye test you’ll probably start hearing top of the second round projections for him. Evans has an impressive blend of athleticism, attitude, physicality, and ball skills to make his transition to either safety position in the NFL relatively smooth. As it related to the Redskins if they selected him in the second round he should be starting at the FS spot from day one. I think Evans is actually an excellent compliment to Cravens/Swearinger. Evans has the skillset needed to patrol the field deep and make plays on the ball while those guys are much more refined and proficient in their tackling and power. Evans has a lot of upside and if he can learn how to be more disciplined with his eyes and improve his tackling technique he could potentially start for the Redskins for a very long time and make a lot of plays while he’s here.