I watched a video of this kid from Appalachian State. Holy moly.
8. DARRYNTON EVANS | Appalachian St. 5103 | 203 lbs. | rJR. Oak Hill, Fla. (New Smyrna Beach) 7/9/1998 (age 21.79) #3
BACKGROUND: Darrynton (DARE-un-ton) Evans grew up in the small town of Oak Hill and attended New Smyrna Beach High School, which is located on the Atlantic coast just outside of Orlando. He earned his first varsity start as a safety on defense, replacing an injured Cole Holcomb (2019 fifth-round pick). Evans emerged as an offensive weapon as a junior, rushing for nearly 700 yards and 16 touchdowns before a broken thumb sidelined him for the rest of the season. An ankle injury plagued him as a senior, finishing with 940 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in just seven games in 2015. Evans also excelled in track, setting personal-bests as a senior in the 100 meters (10.74) and long jump (21’8.5”).
A two-star safety recruit out of high school, Evans ranked as the No. 282 safety in the country and the No. 525 recruit in the state of Florida. His injury-plagued junior and senior years was reflected in his recruiting as he didn’t receive an offer from a Power 5 program. Evans committed to Appalachian State (as a running back and slot receiver) over USF and several MAC schools. His father, Darryl, played college baseball at Bethune-Cookman. Evans elected to skip his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
YEAR (GP/GS) CAR YDS AVG TD REC YDS AVG TD NOTES
2016: (12/0) 48 217 2017: Redshirted due to injury
4.5 0 6
34 5.7 0
87 7.3 1 198 9.4 5 319 8.2 6
First team All-Sun Belt; Took over as the starter after Jalin Moore’s injury; KR TD Sun Belt Offensive POY; First team All-Sun Belt (RB); Second team All-Sun Belt (KR); KR TD
2018: (13/8) 179 2019: (14/14) 255 Total: (39/22) 482
1,187 6.6 1,480 5.8 2,884 6.0
7 12 18 21 25 39
HT WT ARM HAND
WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP
COMBINE 5103 203 31 5/8 09 1/4 76 5/8 4.41 2.60 1.58 37 10’05” - - 20 (no shuttle or 3cond – choice) PRO DAY N/A (Pro Day canceled)
STRENGTHS: Quick out of the chute, hitting holes with speed...quick eyes to locate the crease or cutback lane...astute understanding of run angles and the geometry of the position...plays fast, but also mixes in patience to allow blocks to develop...stays balanced through traffic, absorbing and running through contact...also lined up at slot receiver in his career and catches the ball cleanly...averaged 25.7 yards per kick return with three touchdown returns (56/1,439/3)...touched the ball 467 times on offense the last two seasons with zero fumbles (fumbled once as a freshman).
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t boast an ideal body type or build for NFL work...below-average run strength and needs to attack with more physicality behind his pads...won’t be mistaken for a pounding runner...speeds toward space, but needs to better identify his key blocks...more of a straight-ahead runner and needs to be more creative in tight quarters...caught the ball when targeted, but didn’t have a high volume of targets in App State’s run-heavy scheme...his lack of lower body sand and core strength might limit his pass pro duties vs. NFL rushers...missed the 2017 season due to injury.
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Appalachian State, Evans was the featured runner in former head coach Eli Drinkwitz’s zone-heavy run scheme. Over his first two seasons, he returned kicks and bounced between running back and slot receiver on the depth chart before becoming the top running back midway through the 2018 season when Jalin Moore went down with an injury. Evans is a speedy, elusive runner who feels openings and makes quick decisions to force missed tackles. While competitive as a runner, he isn’t powerful and won’t be a high-volume yards-after-contact runner vs. NFL defenses. Overall, Evans might be limited by his lack of size and physicality, but he is a chug-to-daylight runner with excellent peripheral vision, projecting as a versatile complimentary back with kick return value.
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12. AJ DILLON | Boston College 6003 | 247 lbs. | JR. New London, Conn. (Lawrence) 5/2/1998 (age 21.98) #2
BACKGROUND: Algiers Jameal “AJ” Dillon, who was born in Baltimore and grew up with football as his focus in New London, started his prep career at Marine Science Magnet High School, where his mother, Jessyca Campbell, was the dean of students. He then enrolled and reclassified as a freshman at Lawrence Academy (Mass.), where he was coached by Paul Zukauskas, a seventh-round draft pick in 2001 who played five years in the NFL. After rushing for 1,368 yards as a sophomore, Dillon posted 1,887 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns (a 10.9 yards-per-carry average), leading the program to the 2015 League and Wayne Sanborn titles. He rushed for
635 yards and 12 total touchdowns the first four games as a senior before a broken leg (while playing linebacker) ended his 2016 season.
A three-star running back recruit out of high school, Dillon was considered the No. 25-ranked running back (one spot behind Chuba Hubbard and Jonathan Taylor) and the top-ranked player from Massachusetts. He originally committed to Michigan as a junior, but was turned off by the Wolverines' continued pursuit of other backs (like five-star recruit Najee Harris). After his senior year, Dillon flipped to Boston College, which offered him the chance to stay closer to home. His grandfather Thom Gatewood is a College Football Hall of Fame wide receiver at Notre Dame, who was drafted in the fifth round (No. 107 overall) in the 1972 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Dillon elected to skip his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
YEAR (GP/GS) CAR YDS AVG TD REC YDS AVG TD NOTES
2017: (13/4) 300 2018: (10/10) 227 2019: (12/12) 318 Total: (35/26) 845
1,589 5.3 14 1,108 4.9 10 1,685 5.3 14 4,382 5.2 38
8 41 13 195 21 236
0.0 0 5.1 1 15.0 1 11.2 2
ACC Rookie of the Year; First team All-ACC (first ACC freshman first team RB since 2002) First team All-ACC; Led team in rushing
First team All-ACC; Led ACC in rushing
HT WT ARM HAND WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP
COMBINE 6003 247 31 5/8 09 5/8 77 5/8 4.53 2.68 1.64 41 10’11” - 7.19 23 (no shuttle – choice) PRO DAY N/A (Pro Day canceled)
STRENGTHS: Brawny physique with thick legs, knotted calves and strong trunk (and very little fat)...runs as physical as he looks with the core strength to fight through tackle attempts...good vision at the line of scrimmage to locate his blocks and clear the first wave...accelerates through the hole with better speed than expected for a back that size...stays square to the line of scrimmage...limited sample size as a pass catcher, but showed solid hands to be a serviceable screen target...tough-minded as a blocker, both in pass protection and as a lead blocker...durable and built to handle the load...elite production, leaving as Boston College’s all-time leading rusher.
WEAKNESSES: Runs tall into contact with inconsistent pad level, allowing defenders to strike low and drive him backwards...bad habit of stopping his feet in the backfield...his cuts lack control, struggling to avoid his own blockers...slowed too easily by contact...takes a moment to get going after his momentum is stopped...sets up his first move, but doesn’t have the wiggle or vision to create at the second or third levels...physical enough to get the job done in pass pro when he can stay square, but quick blitzers will get around him...only 21 career catches in college...fumbled eight times over his career...missed two games as a sophomore with a left ankle sprain (October 2018); fractured the fibula in his right leg (October 2016), ending his senior year in high school.
SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Boston College, Dillon was the lead back in former offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian’s pro-style scheme. He led the ACC in rushing as a junior and needed only 31 games to become the program’s all-time leading rusher in yards and touchdowns, finishing his career fourth in the ACC in rushing yards. Built like a brick house, Dillon has some freaky elements to his game with his combination of size, strength and straight-line speed, allowing him to run physical through contact. However, he has heavy feet in his redirect, struggling to string together moves and cleanly navigate through traffic. Overall, Dillon’s inconsistent pad level, creativity and third-down skills are concerns, but he is an athletic workhorse and chore to finish to the ground, projecting as a one-cut NFL power back.
GRADE: 4th-5th Round