Justin Evans is a former JUCO transfer who started for two years at College Station. Justin Evans was more of a baseball player than a football player coming out of high school. Evans threw a 92 mph fastball as a Senior in high school and was on the radar of many professional baseball teams. Evans was set on pursuing a football career and in result, his name was never called in the MLB draft.
Evans compares a lot to former 2014 draft pick Jimmie Ward (SF 49ers). Instinctive football player who can handle multiple roles on the football field. They both play a physical style of football for their size. Like Ward, Evans possesses the short area burst and long speed to play a true single high look. They both also have the mirroring skills to come down and play a little nickel corner.
Name: Justin Evans
School: Texas A&M
Comparison: Jimmie Ward (San Francisco 49ers)
Draft Grade: Round 2
COD Skills: Smooth and quick athlete who can click and close, turn and run, and change directions on a dime. Quick short area bursts in zone coverage and when coming downhill to make a play on the ball carrier. Initial burst and closing speed make him effective when asked to cover a lot of ground in cover one. Range is the most underrated aspect of his game.
Tackling: Enforcer who will come down and mash a ball carrier. Confident when coming down to tackle bigger ball carriers. Hits harder than his frame would indicate. Always looking for the big hit which can cause him to swing and miss in the open field. Way to many missed tackles in his 2016 tape. Will need to approach ball carriers with more discipline at the next level.
Coverage Instincts: Instinctive in coverage and can handle a true single high role. Instinctive with crazy range. Many view Evans as an in-box type of safety which is false. His ability to range from sideline to sideline is extremely underrated. Takes a ton of pride in covering a lot of ground and getting to his landmarks.
Run Instincts: Reacts quickly and flies down hill looking to stop ball carriers in their tracks. Steers clear of blockers but uses proper shed technique when blocked. Will take some wacky angles in the open field and doesn’t wrap up consistently as a tackler. Will need to breakdown and clean up tackling technique at the next level.
Toughness/Effort: Another energetic safety for the 2017 draft class. Plays much bigger and tougher than his thin frame would indicate. Takes pride in getting to his landmarks and sticking to his assignments. Always around the football.
Ball Skills: Played receiver in high school and attacks the football like one. Uses soft hands, long arms and leaping ability to high point the football. 4 INT’s as a Senior.
Strengths: True interchangeable cover two safety with natural instincts against the run and the pass. Fluid mover who is physical enough to cover tight ends. Elite range and I will never understand those who are trying to limit him to a strong safety role. Short area bursts with the COD skills and long speed to cover a ton of ground. Has the ball skills and range to handle true single high looks. Versatile football player with experience returning kicks.
Weaknesses: Overaggressive at times and will take wacky angles to the football. Missed way to many tackles in 2016 and will need to refine the bad angles and open field tackling at the next level.