Evans appeared in 42 career games with the Wolverines and ran for 1,795 yards on 320 carries with 15 touchdowns. He was a fixture in the Michigan backfield for his first three years in school but was not with the team in 2019 while working through an academic issue. He stayed focused on getting back to the program and worked his way back onto the roster for the 2020 season. Despite a lack of production this past year (16 carries, 73 yards, TD), he remained a sleeper prospect with pro potential throughout the draft process.
The draft is all about projection instead of past production, so the traits alone have Evans as someone who has a shot to crack an NFL roster. He is a tough runner with the ability to change pace as a third-down receiver out of the backfield. A lot of scout-types have praised Evans for the way he moves in a phone booth — elusiveness in short areas, for the uninitiated — and the way he holds up when defenders make contact.
Evans’ NFL future is going to largely depend on opportunity. His best fit is going to be with a team that has an established starter, which could allow for him to battle for a No. 2 role in a rotation. Given his ability to catch the ball, he has plenty of value in a three-back stable, as well. It would not be a surprise to see him turn a few spot starts into a featured role down the road, but there are a lot of unknowns with his game.
The first round of the draft was held on Thursday night with the second and third rounds on for Friday. The event concludes from Cleveland, Ohio with the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday.