After being a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, former Alabama LB Rashaan Evans took some time to get up to NFL speed.

Still, he finished his rookie season with 53 tackles in 15 games (seven starts), but that’s hardly the kind of production the Tennessee Titans expected from a first-round pick.

Per an interview at the NFL Combine, Titans coach Mike Vrabel — a former linebacker himself — said he and his coaching staff want to see Evans build on his late-season momentum in 2019:

#RoadToNashville: 2019 NFL Combine Mike Vrabel

Head Coach Mike Vrabel spoke to the media earlier today at the 2019 NFL Combine.

Posted by Tennessee Titans on Wednesday, February 27, 2019

“We’ve always mentioned that the time that Rashaan missed that was critical in training camp with the pads coming on,” Vrabel said. “I think we all saw really what his potential could be as we got down in the stretch and he was really starting to be comfortable and his play speed really started to show up.”

The Titans’ defense was solid all year, but they’ll need to take a step forward to get the team back to the playoffs in 2019. Evans will be a big part of that.