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Could Darrynton Evans be the Redskins’ 3rd down back of the future?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2020 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

Appalachian State v South Carolina Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Darrynton Evans, RB
School: Appalachian State | Conference: Sunbelt
College Experience: RS-Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5’10” / 203 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Round 5 or 6
NFL Comparison: Ronald Jones

College Statistics

Player Overview

Only a 2-star prospect out of high school in Florida, Evans made the most of his time at Appalachian State. Over the course of his three years playing in Boone, he collected over 1,400 return yards (25.7 yd avg) and 3 TDs in addition to putting up over 1,200 scrimmage yards in each of his last two years as the team’s RB1.

In 2018, he was first team All-Sunbelt as a red-shirt sophomore, leading the league in rushing despite not becoming the team’s primary running back until game 5. He had 6 runs of over 50 yards (which was #3 in the nation) and ended the season as the Sunbelt Championship MVP (a feat he would repeat in the following year).

Named the 2019 top football scholar in the Sunbelt Conference as well as the conference’s offensive player of the year, Evans impressed both on and off the field last season. He also joined elite company (Christian McCaffrey & Chris Johnson) by becoming only the third FBS player in the past 20 years to rush for 1,400 yards, catch 5 TDs, and return a kickoff for a TD in the same season. In total, he produced over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 24 TDs.

Strengths

  • Extremely elusive.
  • Both quick and fast (4.41).
  • Can be a strong addition as a return man.
  • Has good hands as a receiver.
  • Great vision outside the tackles.
  • Not afraid to be aggressive in pass protection.

Weaknesses

  • Not built for short yardage gains or to be a bell cow back.
  • Played against a lower level of talent in college.
  • Not his best between the tackles.

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit

With the addition of JD McKissic and Peyton Barber in free agency, the Redskins now have at least five RBs (including Peterson, Guice, and Love) likely to be competing for no more than 4 spots on the 53 man roster. Some would likely argue that RB isn’t a position of need in the draft, and it would be hard to dispute that given other positions of need, but if RB talent like Evans is available later on in the draft, it makes a ton of sense for the team to consider it. Peterson, McKissic, and Barber could all easily be gone by 2021 (if not sooner), and Guice has 2020 to sink or swim. We have very little idea what to expect from Bryce Love’s return. The complexion of the Redskins backfield could easily change dramatically in less than a year.

Evans doesn’t appear to be well-suited to a RB1 role, but given his special teams versatility, his speed, and his ability to provide a threat in space out of the backfield, he merits consideration as a possible Chris Thompson replacement in this year’s draft.