Akayleb Evans NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Minnesota Vikings' CBApril 30, 2022
HAND: 8 3/4"
WINGSPAN: 6'2 3/4"
40-YARD DASH: 4.46
— Long, rangy athlete who uses his length well in press and off coverage. Uses hands to control receivers.
— Runs well when able to open and go. Shows very good buildup and top-end speed.
— Physical in the run game. Willing tackler who has good tackle security.
— Rarely in his backpedal. Most of his coverage is from catch technique, where he sits on routes or uses a shuffle-slide technique.
— Rigid at times when asked to swivel hips or when sinking to get out of breaks. Also has average footwork, leading to his feet being outside of his frame at times.
— Below-average route recognition. Unsure of what he sees. Susceptible to biting on fakes and double-moves.
— Can be slow to locate the ball at times, leading to being out of position or penalties.
11 G, 28 TKL, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 6 PBU, 2 FF
— Four-year player at Tulsa before transferring to Missouri for 2021 season.
— Suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in 2019.
Akayleb Evans is a raw cornerback with great length. He was a 14-game starter at Tulsa from 2017-2020, and he then transferred to Missouri for the 2021 season.
A long strider, Evans showed the ability to run with most receivers whom he was matched up against. Lacking some short-area quickness, he used his length and lateral movement skills to get his hands on receivers in press coverage, although he still needs to work on his technique.
As a taller athlete, Evans struggled with some of his breaking ability, especially when defending in-breaking routes. Though he would be in good position with receivers, he struggles with sinking his hips at top speed.
Evans does best in zone coverage when routes develop in front of him and he has the ability to see the ball thrown. When he's asked to stay on top of routes, he does a good job of tracking and reacting to the ball, although he can get lost when trailing and asked to blindly play through the catch point. He can be slow to locate the ball, causing him to commit penalties and give up catches.
When playing the run, Evans does a good job of reacting to what he sees. He comes up to support the run quickly and secures the tackle with the correct leverage. There are some functional strength concerns, as he doesn't always physically take on blocks to control them. Although he is a willing participant in the run game, he leaves something to be desired in that aspect.
Ultimately, Evans has the length and athletic ability necessary for the NFL. However, he'll need to work hard to round off his game to carve out a long-term role. He was able to dominate while at Tulsa, but playing in the SEC looked to be a bit of a shock for him. There will be a learning curve for a few years as he tries to adjust.
GRADE: 6.3 (5th Round - High-Level Developmental Prospect)
OVERALL RANK: 187
POSITION RANK: CB24
PRO COMPARISON: Pierre Desir
Written by B/R NFL Scout Cory Giddings