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Linebacker Rashaan Evans couldn't be happier after the Tennessee Titans drafted him with the No. 22 pick Youth Cordy Glenn Jersey , a selection predicted by his friend Derrick Henry.

 

The former Alabama teammates had discussed how much they wanted to play together in the NFL. Henry, a Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama in 2015, called Evans once the pick was in.

"Everything worked out as we talked about," Evans said.

New Titans head coach Mike Vrabel got an inside linebacker for his first draft selection, even trading up three spots with Baltimore to nab Evans.

Vrabel, a former linebacker himself who played 14 NFL seasons, has been spending plenty of time with the Titans' linebackers already. Evans now is in position to replace Avery Williamson, who left in free agency for the New York Jets after starting 59 of 63 games with Tennessee.

The Titans see Evans giving them flexibility with his instincts, speed and power. Vrabel noted Evans started as a defensive end at Alabama before developing into an inside linebacker.

"You see a lot of those instincts in the run game and obviously ... the versatility to play at the line of scrimmage and do some things to allow us to be multiple," Vrabel said.

The Titans went into the draft Thursday night slotted at No. 25 Youth Harrison Phillips Jersey , which would have been their latest first-round pick since 2009 when they selected wide receiver Kenny Britt at No. 30. They moved up even higher, swapping first-round slots with the Ravens along with their fourth-round pick at No. 125 for Baltimore's selection at No. 215.

Tennessee is coming off consecutive 9-7 seasons and its first playoff appearance in 14 years. That wasn't enough to keep Mike Mularkey on the jo b, and the Titans replaced him with Vrabel .

General manager Jon Robinson added linebacker Will Compton in free agency. But the Titans needed more help alongside veteran Wesley Woodyard. Robinson said they were impressed by Evans' leadership and how other Alabama players reacted around the linebacker during a meeting after his pro day.

"He kind of had an old soul feel about him," Robinson said. "A guy that really loves football loves sitting there watching the film and talking through the responsibilities that he had, the front had and that the DBs had."

The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Evans was first-team All-Southeastern Conference as a senior, and he finished his career with 152 tackles and 15 sacks. But Evans did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine or at Alabama's pro day, listening to a doctor's advice to protect himself from a nagging groin injury.

The linebacker says he's completely healthy now. Evans, who grew up testing himself alongside his brother by racing horses on their family farm in Auburn, Alabama Bills Elite Jerseys , insists he's plenty fast.

"It's funny that people question my speed," Evans said on a conference call. "I'm like, if I can catch a horse, there's no reason for you to question the speed."

Evans joins a defense that ranked 25th against the pass last season giving up 239.3 yards per game and 17th giving up 22.3 points a game under coordinator Dick LeBeau. Vrabel brought in Dean Pees to run his defense as coordinator after the veteran coach had retired from the same position with Baltimore.

This is a rare first-round pick on defense for the Titans.

Robinson took cornerback Adoree Jackson at No. 18 overall last year after making wide receiver Corey Davis the team's first pick at No. 5 overall. Evans is the first defensive player taken with Tennessee's first overall pick since linebacker Derrick Morgan was selected at No. 16 in 2010 and the first inside linebacker since Keith Bulluck in 2000.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions linebacker Steve Longa’s season-ending knee injury represents a setback for a position group that already is a potential problem area.

Detroit used a first-round pick on Jarrad Davis last season and he appears to be a liability in pass coverage.

The Lions signed veteran free agents Christian Jones and Devon Kennard on the same day in March, hoping they can be 16-game starters for the first time in their careers.

Davis, though, is the key because general manager Bob Quinn took him 21st overall in 2017 to play middle linebacker.

The former Florida star is strong against the run. Davis had 96 tackles last season, the most by an NFL rookie or first-year player. But against the pass, he struggled last season and has seemed to again during training camp and in the preseason.

The latest example came Friday night when the New York Giants capped a 17-play James Daniels Color Rush Jersey , 79-yard, nine-minute drive with a touchdown pass that exposed Davis’ weakness.

Davis Webb threw an 8-yard pass to running back Wayne Gallman, who easily got separation from Davis on a simple pass route in which he ran to the left and cut back over the middle. By the time Gallman caught the ball, Davis was about 3 yards behind him.

“You’re just going to refer to one play in the game, but there’s definitely some things there that we can coach better,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said. “And, I can coach better to help him.”

The Lions added Jones and Kennard, banking on them being an upgrade from Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow.

Oakland signed Whitehead a three-year, $18 million contract — much more than Detroit would’ve offered. Worrilow signed with Philadelphia and had a season-ending knee injury during offseason workouts.

The 6-foot-4, 256-pound Kennard was a starter 11 times last season for the New York Giants Vladimir Sobotka Jersey , who used him as a starting linebacker in 35 games over four seasons. He had four sacks last season and has had 9½ sacks over his career.

The 6-3, 244-pound Jones started 11 games last season and 31 times over four years for the Chicago Bears. He had a career-high 11 sacks last season and has had 15 over his career.

Both players are fits as standup linebackers or edge rushers in Patricia’s defense.

“Kennard does a great job for us, doing whatever we ask him — coming off the edge, dropping in coverage,” Detroit safety Glover Quin said. “Christian is big, physical, athletic guy who can run downhill.

“Having that type of size and speed is going to help us throughout the year be able to do different things and be able match up and hopefully create some problems for the offense.”

NOTES: DE Cornelius Washington and CB Antwuan Davis were released and CB Dexter McDougle, CB Sterling Moore and OL Beau Nunn were signed.

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