One of the big concerns around the league this offseason is the fact that rookies didn’t get any time with their new teams on the field in the spring. That makes it easy to assume that a lot of those guys, especially later round picks, will have a tougher time than normal getting on the field early in the 2020 season. That might not be the case for Titans 3rd round pick Darrynton Evans.
Ryan Tannehill mentioned on his Zoom call with the media the other day that he and Evans have spent some time working out together this offseason. Tannehill had really good things to say about the rookie from Appalachian State (via Jim Wyatt):
“Just a talented guy,” Tannehill said of Evans. “He’s very explosive, very fast. Catching the football, really natural. When you see a running back catch the ball naturally, whether they’re coming out of the backfield or split out wide, it definitely adds another element to the offense and can give defenses a hard time. Really excited about having Darrynton with us.”
There is a roll for Evans in this offense. We already know that everything runs through Derrick Henry, but the Titans need a more versatile guy like Evans to create mismatches. That is what Dion Lewis was signed to do, but it just never worked out.
The thing that Lewis was really good at was pass protection. Running backs are often asked to pick up a blitzer on third down. We can’t be sure, at least early on, how good Evans is at doing this. That is also one way not having a preseason hurts - Evans won’t get to see any “live” reps with that before the games actually count.
Working out with Tannehill in the offseason is a huge advantage for Evans When the quarterback is that complimentary of what you can do, it goes a long way in earning his trust.