Vikings rookie CB Akayleb Evans says he has abilities ‘you can’t teach’

Rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans is far from just being a simple Hail Mary draft pick to help fill a position of need for the Minnesota Vikings.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell had a very specific intention in mind when they took him off the board with the No. 118 overall pick of the fourth round.

They wanted size and physicality in the defensive backfield—you know, the sort of things coaching can’t teach.

“I’m physical, I always give effort every play,” Evans said, when speaking with’s Tatum Everett. “I always finish to the ground. I have certain things you can’t teach—length, speed for my length and the ability to move at my size. So those are all of the things that they like about me.”

What’s not to like about a 6-foot-2, 198-pound cornerback with the ability to jam receivers up at the line and defend at the highest catch point?

Evans slipped on the draft board due to concerns over his injury history. He also needs to shore up his technique a bit, particularly his footwork in pass coverage. But the size, length and tenacity is all there for a player that checks all of the boxes from a physical standpoint.

With the Vikings using their early second-round draft pick on Andrew Booth Jr., it’s clear they wanted to get bigger and more physical in the defensive backfield.

The youth movement is in full throttle in Minnesota, and Evans has the potential to play a big part in it.


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