Round 3 Pick 93
Darrynton Evans RB, Appalachian state
The Tennessee Titans took the beloved mountaineer from Appalachian state with the 93rd pick in the draft. It has been no secret that Tennessee had been yearning for receiving production out of the backfield and they get it with Evans.
Evans is an explosive back that has the potential to learn every route out of the backfield, and is a one-cut back that can get to his top gear in a hurry. His ability to change directions fluidly combined with his elite elusiveness will create mismatches on linebackers and safeties at the NFL level.
He Has the flexibility to weave through the defense and he breaks pursuit angles and hits the hole at full speed similarly to the way Aaron Jones does for the Packers. He is a dangerous player in space and has a history of contributions in the return game that will undoubtedly help Tennessee in 2020 and beyond.
Evans’ feet are active and he competes hard for extra yardage despite not being one of the most powerful runners and he displays a willingness in pass protection that gives him a chance to improve with proper coaching.
The Appalachian State product can have spotty vision in between the tackles and doesn’t have nearly the type of power that Henry possesses when trying to break arm-tackles. Evans has a ton of raw talent that still needs to be developed at the NFL level, but he can definitely thrive right out the gate in a situation similar to Tennessee’s where he will be a complimentary piece rather than the sole focus. The explosiveness he will bring to Tennessee on obvious passing situations will be a clear improvement from anything the Titans had in 2019.
The Appalachian State product will also be able to keep the Titans’ offense from falling apart whenever Henry is out of the game. Evans has plenty of juice and wiggle that makes him a dangerous threat in space with home run hitting potential anytime he touches the ball.
Evans will provide a contrasting change of pace from the pounding that Henry gives his opponents and will be lethal on defenses if they’re able to split the touches adequately.
I’d expect to see a healthy dose of Evans throughout the year which will ultimately provide a much more balanced attack out of the backfield than they have had ever since Henry took over as the workhorse back.
Back in 2016 Tennessee’s then workhorse running back Demarco Murray led the AFC in rushing with 293 carries while a rookie Derrick Henry carried the ball 110 times. I think that type of split would be ideal for these two backs in order to ensure Henry still enforces his will on defenses, but also maintaining thread on his tires for the long haul by not approaching anything near 400 carries ever again.
Whatever the carries end up being, Tennessee has the potential to have their most lethal dose of ‘smash and dash’ since the Chris Johnson and Lendale White days and that is something that should have Titans fans counting down the days until the fall.