This class is filled with talent and will bring great value to your dynasty squad for the foreseeable future. Dave Heilman (@DynastyDorks) and I (@FFBourbonDude) will discuss the following Running Backs, and if you’re interested in listening in to our initial pre-combine breakdowns, follow the links below.
Our pre-draft consensus rankings are as follows:
This write-up is about our consensus number three running back in the 2023 rookie class, Zach Evans. So let’s get into it.
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Zach Evans – NFL Rookie Draft and Dynasty Watch
Zach Evans was ranked as the #1 recruit in the 2020 class, ahead of Bijan Robinson for a lot of the cycle. After getting out of his Georgia commitment, Evans split time with Kendre Miller at TCU and Quentin Judkins at Ole Miss and showed glimpses of a stellar RB prospect.
Height – 6’0″
Weight – 215 pounds
A 5-star recruit who committed to TCU but could never fully take the reigns, Zach Evans has shown progression in nearly every statistic every year. He saw increases in carries, yardage, touchdowns, and receptions from year to year. Does that tell the true story about Zach Evans?
Speed and Burst
The first guy always misses. He uses his above-average vision and bursts through the hole and has the speed to break off chunk plays.
Zach Evans had the 22nd most 10+ yard runs in 2022. Here is the catch, though, of the 21 players ahead of him, he had 40 fewer carries minimum. He creates more 10+ yard chunk plays at a higher rate (24% of runs) than everyone in college with more than 100 carries, with the exception of Keaton Mitchell, whom we will eventually get to for this season.
Everybody loves the power in this run but I slowed it down to show my favorite part
Absolutely destroying the defenders angle which he does regularly, hips like this where he can change direction and lose 0 acceleration are extremely rare
Zach Evans is special, wake up pic.twitter.com/QLXkYPWENR
— sfDynastyFF (Rob) (@Quintorris_) January 25, 2023
Evans has above-average balance and has shown his ability to move laterally, make guys miss, and bounce off defenders.
In today’s NFL, you need to either be a three-down back or a pure pass catcher. He hasn’t shown that he can be an effective pass catcher because he was never really asked to do so.
He trusts his skillset a little too much at times and cuts back when not necessary or even when it’s a bad decision. This created a good number of lost yardage.
Didn’t Demand Job
We didn’t see the workload that we would like out of a guy we believe has the skill set to be a three-down back. He split jobs at both programs with other NFL-caliber running backs, so it isn’t as big a deal.
He also has an interesting metric; in games where he attempted more than 15 rushes, he went from 4.8 yards per carry (<15 carries) to 7.9 yards per carry (>15 carries). This tells me he can and should demand a starting role in an NFL offense.