View Poll Results: Which ILB draft prospect do you prefer?

Voters
22. You may not vote on this poll
  • Leighton Vander Esch (Boise St.)

    12 54.55%
  • Rashaan Evans (Alabama)

    10 45.45%
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 46

Thread: Which ILB do you prefer? Leighton Vander Esch (Boise St.) or Rashaan Evans (Alabama)

  1. #1
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Which ILB do you prefer? Leighton Vander Esch (Boise St.) or Rashaan Evans (Alabama)

    2018 NFL Draft Battles: Leighton Vander Esch vs. Rashaan Evans

    Let the battle begin!

    By Jeff Hartman
    Apr 3, 2018, 12:15pm EDT

    The 2018 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and NFL fan bases are debating which prospect will best fit their team to help them improve next season. For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, these debates can be heated, to say the least.

    This series will take two players from a position of need, and prospects who could be there when the Steelers pick in the first round, and see who thinks is a better fit for the black-and-gold.

    Where do we start? Inside linebacker, of course.

    When the debate of inside linebackers begins with Steelers fans, it almost always boils down to two players: Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State and Rashaan Evans of Alabama. Assuming the big-name inside linebackers will be long gone, it is time to put these two ‘backers in the ring and see who SteelerNation believes is the best fit for the team.

    Reminder: This isn’t an exercise to see which player is the better athlete, but an exercise to suggest which prospect will be the best fit for the Steelers.

    Let’s get to it...


    Leighton Vander Esch

    Height: 6’4”
    Weight: 256lbs.
    School: Boise State

    NFL Draft Profile:

    STRENGTHS

    Big, long and athletic. Has history of achievement with dominant performances and state titles in two sports in high school. Former basketball standout with fluid hips and smooth movement around the field. Almost no delay in his change of direction. Has agility and quick-twitch for sudden lateral bursts in his slides to close out slashers. Triggers with compact burst to the ball. Works under climbing blockers to stay clean. Easy sideline-to-sideline range as tackler. Has athletic ability to recover and tackle despite over pursuit. Widens frame and opens arms to welcome his prey as a tackler. Generally wraps up. Very talented in coverage. Quick but smooth in his drops. Mirrors quarterback’s eyes with ability to redirect from side to side as he follows. Uses active, catch-ready hands to breakup the pass or take it away. Shows real rush talent and instincts as a blitzer. May have enough ability to beat a tackle as edge rusher from time to time.

    WEAKNESSES

    Has just one year of starting experience. Still filling out his frame. Play strength has room for improvement. Has some struggles in taking on blocks and will get washed away by down blocks. Hasn’t learned to use hands effectively to punch and separate. Takes himself out of tackle opportunities by attacking iso-blocks and lead blocks with a shoulder. At times, will over pursue or run himself out of position in attempt to play fast and avoid having to deal with blockers.


    Rashaan Evans

    Height: 6’3”
    Weight: 234lbs.
    School: Alabama

    NFL Draft Profile:

    STRENGTHS

    Build like new breed of NFL linebackers. Possesses good length and great speed. Premium athlete with plus agility, range and explosiveness. Quick to diagnose. Works around the trash when scraping. Able to pace to the perimeter with the jet sweepers and scat-backs. Patient against misdirection and isn’t easily baited out of position. Deftly side-steps blocks without giving his gap responsibility. Has athletic ability to dance from gap to gap and look up shifty running backs. Learned from tough guys ahead of him and adapted their demeanor. Explosive, wrap-up striker who sees what he hits. Plays with pain. Sub-package rusher with upfield burst to threaten the edge. Can unleash impressive spin counter in either direction. Burst as delayed blitzer from inside linebacker spot is too much for most linemen to catch.

    WEAKNESSES

    Just a beat behind in diagnosing. Lacks instincts of players who have extended history at the position. Can improve leverage in his pursuit. Fast flow ahead of blockers can allow for cutbacks. Can get wired to climbing blockers. Needs to improve his punch-and-separate when taking on blockers. Benefitted from playing behind monsters along the defensive line. Will wait rather than trigger when downhill shots are available. Will need to trust his athletic ability to squeeze routes tighter. Nagging groin injury plagued him last season. Scouts have some concerns about durability.

    ...

    After perusing the above information, it is time to make your decision. If you are Kevin Colbert and/or Mike Tomlin and both Vander Esch and Evans are available, who do you take?

    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2018-nfl-mock-drafts-profiles-video-clips-highlights-steelers-analysis-breakdowns-news/2018/4/3/17187214/2018-nfl-draft-battles-leighton-vander-esch-vs-rashaan-evans-steelers-team-needs-news
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  2. #2
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    I like LVE.
    Few things that concern me about Evans
    Scouts have some concerns about durability.
    Will wait rather than trigger when downhill shots are available.
    I wish people would/could leave politics out of a Steelers Football Forum.

  3. #3
    Pro Bowler

    User Info Menu

    It's beginning to look as though both of them may be gone by #28.

  4. #4
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    There's a strong chance both will be gone. I don't see what scouts see in LVE. He reminds me a bit of the film I seen on Dupree. I said Dupree played soft, had obvious athleticism that rarely made its way into impressive plays. That's LVE. Evans on the other hand is an explosive playmaker, with an All Pro ceiling. I don't know what they mean about "trigger", the guy can hit and blow people up too.

  5. #5
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    It's beginning to look as though both of them may be gone by #28.
    Off-the-ball linebackers are not considered to be premium positions in the NFL, and there are FOUR off-the-ball linebackers who are widely considered to have first round grades this year (Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Rashaan Evans).

    Yes, there are numerous LB-needy teams ahead of us in the overall draft order this year, but if any of those teams also have a need at a more premium position such as QB, edge rusher, CB, OT, WR or 3-technique DT, then they are more than likely to take a player at one of those "tougher to find" positions in round one, and fill their need at LB later on in the draft.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  6. #6
    Rookie

    User Info Menu

    Evans also played both inside and outside in Alabama’s 3-4...we may need an OLB after next season...
    Actually, my post was NOT about you...but, if the shoe fits, feel free to lace that &!+€# up and wear it.

  7. #7
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    There's a strong chance both will be gone. I don't see what scouts see in LVE. He reminds me a bit of the film I seen on Dupree. I said Dupree played soft, had obvious athleticism that rarely made its way into impressive plays. That's LVE. Evans on the other hand is an explosive playmaker, with an All Pro ceiling. I don't know what they mean about "trigger", the guy can hit and blow people up too.
    I'm the exact opposite of you in this regard.

    Vander Esch is more fluid, explosive, and quicker than Evans in spite of outweighing him by more than 20 pounds (guys his size should not be able to be as quick as he is in the 3-cone and shuttle runs, plus he nearly jumped out of Lucas Oil Stadium at the combine...a freakish T.J. Watt-like performance for a man that big).

    Vander Esch seems to be a more instinctive player in spite of only playing full year a his position (again, very much like T.J. Watt).

    Evans had more advantages with a more dominant front playing in front of him and a more dominant secondary playing behind him, but Vander Esch made more plays anyway. When you watched a game on the blue carpet, Vander Esch stood out, but I don't think that Evans is on par in terms of on-the-field talent with LB's from recent Tide vintage such as Reuben Foster, C.J. Mosley, or Donta Hightower.

    That's just me, though.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  8. #8
    Backup

    User Info Menu

    I'm a huge Boise State fan but it pains me to say this, Evans is better than LVE. With Evans you can put him at ILB or OLB. He has more upside in my opinion. Although I would be happy with either one. My real first choice would be Mason Rudolph. Whenever you can get a franchise QB, you take him if he is your guy.

  9. #9
    Legend

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    I'm the exact opposite of you in this regard.

    Vander Esch is more fluid, explosive, and quicker than Evans in spite of outweighing him by more than 20 pounds (guys his size should not be able to be as quick as he is in the 3-cone and shuttle runs, plus he nearly jumped out of Lucas Oil Stadium at the combine...a freakish T.J. Watt-like performance for a man that big).

    Vander Esch seems to be a more instinctive player in spite of only playing full year a his position (again, very much like T.J. Watt).

    Evans had more advantages with a more dominant front playing in front of him and a more dominant secondary playing behind him, but Vander Esch made more plays anyway. When you watched a game on the blue carpet, Vander Esch stood out, but I don't think that Evans is on par in terms of on-the-field talent with LB's from recent Tide vintage such as Reuben Foster, C.J. Mosley, or Donta Hightower.

    That's just me, though.
    No one will argue that LVE isn't an athletic freak. What I ask you to do is pull up his video...watch the guy play, not just highlights. He diagnoses slow, plays soft, doesn't hit. He's easily washed out of plays, plays small. He can't deal with trash, can't disengage. He's just not that good. People have fallen in love with his potential but he's not even close to a finished product.

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer

    User Info Menu

    Vanden Esch. Alabama players generally turn out to be less than advertised. Not sure what it is, but they seem to be like Duke basketball in that regard. In either case though, the ceiling seems to be solid starter level. I don't think either will be a game changer in the way Shazier or Polamalu were (which is what this defense lacks = a back 7 game-changer).

    OTOH, Vanden Esch seems the same type of player Watt is, and vice-versa. To me, neither will be a top pure pass-rusher, but both are athletic and heady guys who have great versatility. For some reason, I keep thinking the name Karl Mecklenburg or old Clay Matthews when I think of him... which, if he turns out that good, it is a steal.
    Last edited by Shoe; 04-03-2018 at 03:51 PM.
    I wasn't hired for my disposition.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •