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A Day Later, Titans LB Rashaan Evans All Smiles in Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rashaan Evans stood in between his new bosses during a press conference in Nashville on Friday.

The former Alabama linebacker, taken in the first round by the Titans, smiled as he posed for pictures with general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel.

He held up a navy blue Titans jersey with the No.1 on it, and then swapped it out for No.54, the number he'll wear this fall.

With his proud parents watching from the front row, Evans talked about the adrenalin rush he's still feeling 18 hours after being picked at No.22. With a smile, Robinson kidded he already likes his new linebacker's taste in suits – the GM and Evans had nearly identical blue suits.

"Everything has been pretty fast lately," Evans said. "I am just trying to take all of it in. I am truly blessed to be chosen by the Tennessee Titans, and be a part of this great organization.

"I have not slept yet."

Robinson and Vrabel welcomed Evans into Saint Thomas Sports Park around 10:30 a.m., after his flight landed in Nashville from Dallas. Evans met members of the coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Dean Pees. He had a chance to spend some time with his buddy, Titans running back Derrick Henry, his teammate at Alabama.

"Me and him have a very close relationship," Evans said of Henry. "I am definitely looking forward to continuing those memories with him."

Evans had a photo shoot with The Tennessean, then met with Nashville television stations. He toured the facility, including the locker room. He met Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, along with Kenneth Adams IV and Barclay Adams from ownership.

"We're really excited to have him a part of this football team, and what he is going to bring on the field," Robinson said of Evans. "He checks all the boxes. I've said it before, dating back two years ago and our first two drafts and now our third draft here, that first round pick has to check all those boxes. This guy is a tough, dependable, team-first player who is a good person on the field, he is a great person off the field – his mom and dad did a great job raising him – and we are excited to have him as a key part of this organization."

NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock listed Evans 13th on his Top 100 list of prospects in this year's draft. He's expected to play inside linebacker for the Titans.

"The look of a linebacker is a guy who can run and go tackle the ball, and lead, and be versatile," said Vrabel, a 14-year NFL veteran who played linebacker for the Steelers, Patriots and Chiefs. "Those are the things we targeted, and that's what we ended up with."

With cameras flashing, Evans flashed a good sense of humor.

He talked about chasing horses in the country with his brother. While his brother has run one down, Evans said, he still hasn't caught one, and Robinson promised "we're not going to ask you to chase one."

Evans talked about the influence his parents had on him growing up. He talked about wanting to be a team player, and a leader, with his new team. He said he wants to earn the trust of his new teammates.

Evans said he's still surprised the Titans picked him. Based on pre-draft interest, he said he suspected the Steelers, Cowboys or Bengals might pick him.

But the Titans jumped up and got Evans, and he's glad they did.

"When I saw that (615) area code on my phone, it kind of shocked me a little bit," Evans said. "I was probably the happiest I've been in a long time when I got that call."

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