Scouting the NFL Draft: Texas A&M S Justin Evans

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Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
Ht. 6'0", Wt. 193, Arm: 30⅞", Hand: 9¾", Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Alabama, LSU, UCLA

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Justin Evans didn't receive a lot of attention from colleges as a high schooler from Perkinston, Miss. That changed after he went to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and recorded 6 INTs (returning two for TD) and 13 passes broken up in two seasons. As a four-star transfer recruit, he picked Texas A&M over Texas, Auburn, Georgia and his hometown Mississippi.

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In two years with the Aggies, Evans totaled 165 tackles, 5 INT, 11 passes broken up and 5 TFL. He also returned 17 kick-offs for an average of 27.9 yards per return. As a senior, the kid with only one scholarship offer out of high school was named to the All-SEC team and a Thorpe Award semifinalist.

Strengths

• Speed - Quick recovery speed, downhill
• Length - Good height, arm length
• Hips - Fluid in coverage
• Feet - Efficient, good change of direction
• Intelligent - Instinctive, recognizes route concepts
• Coverage - Excels in zone, man
• Disciplined - Knows role, always in position
• Run Defense - Willing, attacks ball carriers
• Special Teams - Added value as returner

Weaknesses

• Tackling - Misses a LOT of tackles
• Angles - Inconsistent angles against run
• Size - Light for the position
• Durability - Bad combo of size, playing style

Verdict: Second Round

Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis said Evans is as good as any safety he's ever coached, including his more than 25 years in the SEC. That's certainly possible, but Evans is too much of a liability against open-field runners to be an elite prospect. That said, he has the hips, speed, coverage ability and route recognition to be a versatile safety in the NFL.

Draftanalyst.com's Tony Pauline said he's heard Evans' name linked with the Dallas Cowboys as a possible first-round pick. I think that would be a bit of a reach in a class so deep in defensive backs. Evans has high upside, though, and his versatility would fit well into the Cowboys' secondary if he's available after Day 1.

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