As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Zach Evans.
2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Zach Evans (RB – Mississippi)
6’0” – 215 lbs.
Five-star recruit who was Texas Christian’s first such commitment, rushing 54-415-4 (7.7) as a freshman in a deep rotation. Role expanded to 92-648-5 (7.0) the following year but was still part of a three-back rotation, and season ended early due to turf toe. Transferred to Mississippi this past year and went 144-963-9 (6.5) as the second back behind freshman Quinshon Judkins. Also caught thirty career passes.
Has been efficient over the past three years, without accumulating too much tread on his tires. Was asked to carry the load at times and looked capable; has the type of strong build teams look for in a bellcow. Very smooth runner whose overall set of athletic tools is impressive, with very good burst and speed; has the ability to hit home runs when he finds a lane, and can seemingly outrace defenders to the corner on outside rushes at will. Has good vision to recognize cutback lanes, but is generally a no-nonsense runner who executes the play as drawn up. Doesn’t have to shift down when making cuts at the second level. Can spin off contact and run through arm tackles while maintaining his balance. Shows a violent stiff-arm when he gets to the edge. Generally does a good job of falling forward at the end of his runs.
Never established himself as the feature back in either program despite being Texas Christian’s most highly-ranked recruit ever. Doesn’t barrel through tacklers until he gets to the second level, or break a ton of tackles overall. Faster and smoother than he is elusive; tends to run by opponents rather than making them miss in the hole. Fumbled five times on barely 300 career touches. Usage as a receiver was limited throughout his career; only exceeded ten catches in a season this past year. Was very rarely retained in pass protection and didn’t grade out well in that facet of the game.
A solidly-built, smooth accelerator with home-run speed, he has the look of a real weapon on outside rushing attempts, winning the corner and racking up chunk plays down the sidelines. Has superior tools, but passing-down usage was limited in school and was never able to lock down a feature-back role at the college level, which might give some teams pause when considering him relative to some of the workhorses in the class. However, should be a safe bet to be a big-play threat as part of a running back committee, and could potentially lock down a number-one role, which should earn him a second-day selection.
Projection: Round 2-3
Other 2023 NFL Draft Running Back Prospects
- Devon Achane (RB – Texas A&M)
- Tank Bigsby (RB – Auburn)
- Chase Brown (RB – Illinois)
- Zach Charbonnet (RB – UCLA)
- Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – Alabama)
- Roschon Johnson (RB – Texas)
- Kenny McIntosh (RB – Georgia)
- Kendre Miller (RB – TCU)
- Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)
- Sean Tucker (RB – Syracuse)