There is no doubt the Pittsburgh Steelers need help at the inside linebacker position, and this remains true even after the team signed Jon Bostic to a two-year deal this past Sunday. However, would the signing of Bostic impact their approach to the the 2018 NFL Draft? Would they not have inside linebacker as high on the list after the move?
Of course no one outside the organization knows that for sure, but the reality is the team will need to invest in a player who could, and probably should, be ready to play from Day 1 and can help ease the pain after the loss of Ryan Shazier.
For that simple reason, it would be wise for the team to keep their options open to an inside linebacker, if the right prospect falls to No. 28.
That is exactly what played out in Charlie Campbell of Walter Football’s latest mock draft. After a run of linebackers early in the first round, the Steelers select Rashaan Evans out of Alabama.
See what Campbell has to say about the selection:
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
ILB — Rashaan Evans, Alabama
The Steelers could use more linebacker talent, and hopefully, Evans will pair with Ryan Shazier in a year’s time to give Pittsburgh a nasty tandem on the inside.
In 2017, Evans totaled 74 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, six sacks, one forced fumble and three passes broken up. The 6-foot-2, 232-pounder possesses an impressive skill set with size and speed. The senior did well rushing off the edge for Alabama in 2017. Evans was a backup in 2014 and 2015 before rotating onto the field during the 2016 season. As a junior, he totaled 53 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, two passes broken up and one forced fumble. Some teams have medical concerns with Evans.
The medical concerns Campbell references in his description would be groin issues which hampered the versatile defender his senior season. However, they weren’t enough to keep him off the field.
Evans would obviously need to be medically cleared, but he is the type of player who could not just help fill the role Shazier left vacant, but be a tremendous piece in Keith Butler’s sub-package heavy defense. While Lawrence Timmons was always considered an option at outside linebacker if the team suffered injuries, Evans has the same capabilities, but is probably better at edge rushing than Timmons was. Evans has been described as a “bulldog” in the middle of the field, and someone who knows how to lead a defense.
What do you think of the pick? Would you be okay with Evans being the Steelers’ top pick when the draft roles around? Or do you think there are more pressing needs at other positions? Let us know in the comment section below!