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NFL Draft 2018: Top linebacker prospect visited with the Eagles

Philly continues to look at linebackers.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans is one of 30 2018 NFL Draft prospects who will have met with the Eagles in Philadelphia for an official pre-draft visit, according to Matt Zenitz of AL.com.

Evans, 22, spent a total of four years with the Crimson Tide. He finished his college career with 150 total tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and zero interceptions.

The Eagles haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round since dinosaurs roamed the Earth but there’s no question it’s a long-term need for Philadelphia. Jordan Hicks obviously struggles to stay healthy and he’s set to be a free agent after 2018. Nigel Bradham turns 29 in September and his five-year extension is more of a year-to-year deal. Mychal Kendricks could finally be traded this offseason. Free agent signings Corey Nelson and Paul Worrilow were inked to one-year deals.

The Eagles could draft Evans to start out at WILL before eventually transitioning to SAM in the future. That’s assuming he makes it to No. 32, which is hardly a given.

BGN draft writer Ben Natan ranked Evans his No. 3 overall linebacker in this year’s class.

The second half of Alabama’s talented linebacker duo this season; Rashaan Evans was a multifaceted weapon for the Tide last season who excelled as a run defender and made an impact coming off the edge in sub packages. The 6’1”, 232 pound linebacker will likely stay off the ball in the NFL, but he could still make an impact as a blitzer. Regardless, he is a high impact run defender who can set the tone as a tackler. He could improve as a coverage defender and may be best suited in a 3-4 scheme, but Evans will be a productive tackler and a leader on a defense from day one.

Scouting report via NFL.com:

Draft Projection: Round 1

Sources Tell Us: “He made a lot of progress as an inside backer from last year to this. He was more instinctive and a lot more natural.” -- AFC area scout

NFL Comparison: Lawrence Timmons

Bottom Line: Ascending linebacker talent who has the speed to fly around from sideline to sideline and played with an improved feel for the position in 2017. Despite limited playing time over his first few seasons, Evans adapted a “work while you wait” mindset that prepared him to for impressive performances in three consecutive national championship games. Evans is an ideal inside linebacker fit for a blitz-happy 3-4 unit, but he could easily fit as a 4-3 WILL with rush potential on sub-packages. Evans is an early starter with high-end potential if he can stay healthy.

Spider graph via Mockdraftable:

Highlights video:

Complete list of known Philadelphia Eagles draft visits

Alabama LB Rashaan Evans

UCF CB Mike Hughes - [Click here]

Maryland LB Jermaine Carter - [Click here]

Central Arkansas CB Tremon Smith - [Click here]

Iowa C James Daniels - [Click here]

Miami TE Chris Herndon - [Click here]

South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard - [Click here]

San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny - [Click here]

Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor - [Click here]

Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain - [Click here]

Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch - [Click here]

Stanford S Justin Reid - [Click here]

LSU RB Derrius Guice - [Click here]

LSU CB Donte Jackson - [Click here]