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Eagles All-22 Film Review: Justin Evans offers versatility

New Orleans Saints v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

When watching Nick Morrow film and Terrell Edmunds film, I had some sort of idea of what to expect. I really had no idea what to expect before watching Justin Evans, as it’s not often you see a player come back to the NFL after missing 3 years. Evans only played 391 total snaps so this isn’t as detailed as some of my other breakdowns, but I hope you still get an idea of what type of player he is.


The stats show that Evans is more of a hybrid slot cornerback/safety than an out-and-out safety. He doesn’t make a lot of tackles and he spends a lot of his time in the slot. C.J. Gardner-Johnson played in the slot more last year, but he did start there when Avonte Maddox was injured in Week 18, if you take away those games the time spent in the slot is pretty similar between both players, which is interesting when you consider that the Saints lost CGJ to the Eagles last offseason!


+ Very versatile. Can line up as a single-high safety, a split-field safety, and a slot cornerback. A jack of all trades, master of none.

+ He has the ability to line up in the slot and cover tight ends or running backs split out wide or average wide receivers. He looked better against smaller receivers in the games that I watched.

+ He’s undersized and I expected him to struggle in the box (which is a big part of playing cornerback these days) but he handled it pretty well. He was good at avoiding contact and even fighting through contact on occasions.

+ Has upside as this was his first year after missing three with an injury. He could certainly improve after a year of playing football again.


- Doesn’t have the instincts of a starting cornerback. Looks lost in coverage at times and can be overaggressive.

- Looked a little awkward in his movement at times which isn’t too surprising considering he missed 3 whole years with an injury.

- If he lines up as your slot cornerback, you are going to have to hope he doesn’t come up against any top wide receivers. He had absolutely no chance of staying with DeAndre Hopkins last season.

- Isn’t particularly aggressive in run defense. He will make the tackle but can be slow to the hole.

- His missed tackle % is high because he doesn’t wrap up well and took some awful angles in the open field last year.


I like the Justin Evans signing as a low-risk move, even if I am by no means convinced by the player. I am not sure he is very good, and I don’t think he should be starting for the Eagles. However, I think stylistically and positionally, he is pretty similar to CGJ. He is more of a safety than a cornerback in my opinion, but he can give you snaps at both positions if needed.

When it comes to a backup signing, I think versatility is one of the most important things I want to see. Justin Evans is likely not good enough to ever be a starter, and he may not even make the roster, but I imagine he has a good chance of sticking around because he can give you snaps as a single-high safety, split-field safety, and a slot cornerback. If he can contribute on special teams, I think there’s a chance he’s the Eagles' 3rd or 4th safety if they don’t add anyone else this offseason. As last year was his first year playing football in 3 years, there is some upside with this signing too. It’s worth a shot!

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