Titans confident Darrynton Evans' college work will make him pass-catching RB

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Darrynton Evans wasn’t catching passes on a regular basis at Appalachian State.

When Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel pulled out the film to study him as a pass-catcher, they only had 39 receptions over three seasons to break apart.

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(Photo courtesy Appalachian State athletics.)

As the Titans third-round pick, Evans will be looked to as a supplement to Derrick Henry and a third-down pass target. [Unlocked.]

“Jon and I kind of went back and forth on this, the production in the pass game,” Vrabel said. “It wasn’t glaring. A lot of these things were just checkdowns. A lot of that is a product of the system. Our coaches and Jon, we all wanted to see if he had the ability to do that.

“Then you watch him move and most of the tackles that he forces guys to miss are moves and ability we would consider doing the same thing running the route. We think that’s going to be really valuable for him.”

Evans landed in Boone, N.C. from Oak Hill, Fla. Not as a running back but as an athlete, unsure of how he’d fit into the offense but sold that the staff would find an avenue for him to contribute, be it as a receiver or a back.

He’s a bit over 5-foot-10 and weighed in at 203 at the combine, where he ran a 4.41.

“I can help take the load off (Henry) a little bit and add my own little twist as well,” he said.”

With the pass-catching on that third-down role comes the big responsibility in pass protection, a role where the veteran Evans is replacing, Dion Lewis, actually fared well.Draft2020 3D

“That really came to me from taking the time to actually learn defensive schemes, where pressures are coming from,” Evans said. “From there it’s my job to keep the quarterback clean. If I don’t do my job, I shouldn’t get the ball either.”

Robinson said there are multiple indicators from Evans’ college career that he will be up for the job at the NFL level.

“There were enough clips where you could see him stepping up and sticking his face into the core of the protection, taking on a linebacker coming downhill,” he said. “His toughness as a runner – I like the fact that he’ll lower his shoulder and try to run through a tackle. I think from a mindset standpoint you see his willingness to play tough.

“To hit the creases in the kick return, you’ve got to be somewhat fearless back in the kick return when you’ve got guys flying down there at you and you’ve got to hit the crease at 100 miles an hour.

“So I think with all those things combined we felt very comfortable with what he’s going to be able to do in pass pro.”

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