ARLINGTON, Texas –** In the heart of Texas, Rashaan Evans was pumped.
The Titans made the former Alabama linebacker their first round pick in the NFL Draft, trading up to No.22 to get him.
The move left Evans pumping his fist and screaming well after he'd left the stage.
"Even though I went 22nd, that doesn't matter to me," Evans said. "My thing was to be a part of a great team. I am going to work my butt off. The Tennessee Titans, they got a great pick, I promise you that."
Back in Nashville, Titans general manager Jon Robinson, head coach Mike Vrabel and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk were fired up, too. They welcomed Evans to the team on a phone call, then they all slapped hands and exchanged hugs with scouts after the pick was made.
At a press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park, Robinson and Vrabel discussed the pick, and the decision to jump up and get Evans.
"Really excited tonight to add Rashaan Evans to our football team," Robinson told reporters. "He is a guy that we spent quite a bit of time with in the spring process. Comes from a program that is well-known in this country, down in Alabama. Really fits everything we are looking for in a Titan, and especially a defensive player.
"We had gotten some info that there (were) some teams trying to get ahead of us, maybe that were behind us (so we traded up). We tried to get ourselves into position, and got ourselves into position for that not to happen."
Vrabel said he wants Evans to "know what to do and play fast and aggressive."
"Jon (Robinson) and I watched a lot of tape, and when you press play he looked like he was moving," Vrabel said. "When he got there, he looked like he was hitting pretty hard."
Robinson said Evans played inside linebacker primarily at Alabama, but noted he can also rush off the edge. Robinson noted Evans blitzed quite a bit at Alabama.
"He factors on passing downs, both as a rusher and in coverage,'' Robinson said. "He's a versatile player that can do quite a bit of things."
Robinson called Evans an "old soul" who loves football. He watched him interact with teammates during the school's pro day, and did plenty of homework on him.
"You could see his leadership in the room," Robinson said. "We had several of the Alabama guys in that room, and the command that he had in that room. He kind of had an old soul feel about him. A guy that really loves football, loves sitting there talking, watching the film and talking through the responsibilities he had, the front had, that the DBs had."
Evans, scheduled to fly to Nashville for a press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park later today, said after being picked he's ready to work.
"They can expect a guy to give his all, to play football the way it is supposed to be played, hard and physical,'" Evans said. "And not only that, help bring the Titans back to the Super Bowl."
The Titans select Alabama LB Rashaan Evans in first round (#22nd overall) of 2018 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)