As part of theRams.com's coverage leading into this year's NFL Draft, we will be examining selections from the Top 100 of the NFL Draft in the Sean McVay era. The series concludes with a look at offensive tackle Bobby Evans.
Before joining the Rams...
Coming from an Oklahoma program which finished third for ESPN's title of Offensive Line U, a distinction given to schools which produce the most talent at the position, Bobby Evans had both the pedigree and the resume to be one of the first 100 players chosen in last year's NFL Draft.
As a redshirt junior in 2018, he was part of an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award, which annually recognizes the best offensive line in college football, and blocked for the No. 1 total offense in the nation (570.3 yards per game). On an individual level, he earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors after starting all 14 games at left tackle. He had spent the previous two seasons playing right tackle exclusively.
What also made Evans an appealing prospect was his athletic background and durability.
He played tight end for two seasons at Allen High School before switching to offensive line. In college, he did not miss a game.
Meanwhile, his father, Bobby Joe Evans, was the 1994-95 Texas Gatorade High School Player of the Year in basketball and lettered as a member of the Oklahoma basketball team.
Offensive tackle was identified as one of the Rams' top five needs entering the draft, driven by the prediction that the Rams would need to continue finding more candidates to succeed 37-year-old starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth whenever he retired.
The versatility of being able to play both tackle spots made him the kind of offensive lineman valued by Rams run game coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, and they selected him with the No. 97 overall pick in the third round.
Similar to his first year at Oklahoma, Evans appeared to be headed for a redshirt year in his first year in the NFL, as he was inactive for seven games in 2019, including the first six.
However, an injury to starting right tackle Rob Havenstein in Week 10 called him into action. Evans' pro debut would be made against none other than Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time First Team All-Pro who was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.
Evans held his own, though, as he and the rest of the Rams offensive line held the Bears defense without a sack. Prior to playing Los Angeles, Chicago produced 26 sacks through their first nine games.
Evans started the remaining six games of the season, giving him seven in the 9 games he appeared in as a rookie. At a minimum, his experience from 2019 will provide valuable depth for the Rams in 2020.