If I was a betting man, Rashaan Evans out of Alabama would be the pick at 17. I have felt like this since January. Like Mike Williams last year, it is just too obvious. The team goes based on need and where they lacked at the most the year prior. With Evans, he is everything they want. He is a ferocious run defender. He can cover. His closing speed is terrific. He brings energy. He can lay the boom. His ability as a pass rusher puts him over the top. To me, he is the best linebacker in the draft. I explain why in the video below.
Per Pro Football Focus, over the past 2 years, Evans has missed 13 tackles in 25 games. Yes, please. Most of them are in the video above. He has the floor to be a good starter. That is what you are looking for in the draft. Is his ceiling the same as a Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds? It is not. However, he is better now and the likelihood it stays that way is greater than them developing in the areas where they are not as good as Evans is. For me, that is why I have him as the best linebacker in the draft. I am usually not on board with taking a linebacker early. If you told me I can only take one this year, it would be Evans.