Over the next few weeks we will reveal the top 25 current Vikings players, counting them down Casey Kasem-style from 25 all the way to number 1. Let’s continue the countdown with the man at #23, DT Fred Evans.
2014 will be a year of transition for the Vikings’ defense, with Mike Zimmer and George Edwards installing a new, non-Tampa-2-based system, and a whole bunch of new faces joining the roster.
But not everything will be brand new for Minnesota on the defensive side of the ball. There are some familiar faces sticking around from the Leslie Frazier years. One of these familiar faces belongs to Fred Evans.
It was a slight surprise when the Vikings decided to bring back Fred Evans. A lot of people expected he’d be headed out the door along with fellow D-line mainstays Letroy Guion, Kevin Williams and Jared Allen. But Rick Spielman obviously likes what Evans brings to the table, so Fred was coaxed back with a new contract.
Evans now fits in as part of Mike Zimmer’s grand defensive line plan, which can be summed up with two words: “role” and “rotation.”
Evans’ role, and how much playing time he’ll see as part of the rotation, is yet to be determined, but going on his past performance as a penetrating nose tackle, I believe we’ll see him quite a bit at the nose in pass rush situations, and possibly lining up some at 3-tech even in running downs.
Don’t be surprised if Evans ends up grabbing a large percentage of the snaps. We know he has his occasional problems with discipline and concentration, but there’s no doubting Fred’s pure physical ability and the energy he brings to the table. Plus he’s just a fun guy to have around.
Fred Evans is the #23 player on the Vikings roster in 2014.