July 16, 2015
As we continue on with our Eagles rookie NFL player comparisons, we'll now turn to the Eagles' other sixth-round CB, Randall Evans of Kansas State. Evans reminds me of Bills CB Corey Graham, who also played for the Ravens and Bears.
Several things stand out about Evans' similarities to Graham:
• Height-weight: Both players came out of college listed at 6'0, 195. Graham was a fifth-round pick, Evans a sixth.
• Ball skills: Over the last two seasons, Evans broke up 22 passes, which was fourth among all CBs that were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. In 2014, Graham was tied for third in the NFL with 11 pass breakups (per PFF).
• Physical run defenders: Evans made a boatload of tackles at Kansas State: 64 in 2014 (3rd on his team), 59 in 2013 (6th), and 77 in 2012 (3rd). That would be 200 tackles over three seasons. In 2014 with Buffalo, Graham finished second in the NFL among cornerbacks with 84 tackles. He has had 218 tackles over the last three seasons.
• Positional versatility and special teams contributions: "The unique thing about him is he's played safety, he's played nickel, he's played corner," Chip Kelly said at his post-draft press conference about Evans. "He's a physical player. He's an outstanding special teams player."
Similarly, Graham has the versatility to play both on the outside and in the slot, and he made the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season with the Bears as a standout special teamer.
Graham has become an excellent starting corner in the NFL late in his career, and is one of more underrated players in the league. If Evans can carve out a career that is close to Graham's, that would be a big win for the Eagles.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski