Injury History: Broken Thumb (Junior YR HS), Season-Ending Knee Inury: Redshirt (2017)
Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana Lafayette
Report By: Ryan Lippert
The main strength that Evans brings to the table is his athleticism. He has great elusiveness which he uses to make defenders miss in the open field. His spin move is deadly and he maintains good balance when spinning off defenders. He makes stopping on the dime and changing direction in the open field look easy, mainly due to loose/flexible hips. To go along with his elusiveness, he has very good cutting ability in space, making it difficult for defenders to break down and make a tackle, especially on the outside and in the second level. He also has very good top-end speed which makes him very dangerous around the edge on outside zones and once he hits the second level. Does a great job of protecting the ball as he only had two career fumbles in college. Had great production in his final two seasons at Appalachian State, especially in 2019 where he finished third in the nation with 24 total touchdowns.
One of the main flaws in his game is that he isn't very reliable in the inside run game. He has a smaller frame which makes it tougher for him to take on defenders and pick up extra yards between the tackles. Isn't going to be known for running over defenders and is often brought down by the first defender to make contact, and is more likely to be brought down by an arm tackle compared to other running backs in this class. His small frame also doesn't get him much to work with as a blocker. As a pass blocker, he does a lot of just trying to throw his shoulder at defenders and usually, they either bounce off of him or simply run through him. He uses the same technique as a lead blocker and in open space. With that being said, I don't see him being a running back that is kept in as an extra blocker in passing situations.
Darrynton Evans is another talented small-school running back prospect that has a chance to make a name for himself in the league. He came into Appalachian State as a two-star prospect and contributed in 12 games as a freshman, seeing time as a receiver, running back, and a kickoff returner. He had to redshirt in his second season due to an injury and came back in 2018 to take over as the lead back, leading the Sun Belt conference with 1,187 rushing yards on 179 carries, along with seven rushing touchdowns, a receiving touchdown, and one kickoff return touchdown for 100 yards. This performance earned him First Team All-Sun Belt recognition. In his final season as a Mountaineer, he was named the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year after scoring the third-most touchdowns in the nation with 24 (18 rushing, five receiving, one kickoff return), along with 2,064 all-purpose yards (1,480 rushing, 198 receiving, 386 kickoff return). He was also named MVP of the Sun Belt Championship and New Orleans Bowl. His play helped him earn an invite to the 2020 NFL Combine. When the draft comes around, Evans will be a great value pick for a team in a mid-round due to a very deep running back class. As a pro, he will be a great complimentary/change of pace running back for a team that already has an established RB1 or is simply looking to have a "by committee" approach at the position. If he can add some weight to his build, he could eventually be a lead back but as of now, his role will be as a complementary piece.
Round Projection: Late Third-Fourth
Team Fits: Las Vegas Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions
NFL Comp: Ronald Jones II