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Steelers held virtual pre-draft visit with RB from Appalachian State

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been meeting with prospects, and one is an intriguing running back from Appalachian State.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 21 New Orleans Bowl - Appalachian State v UAB Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers would love to add some talent to their running back depth chart, and the team has been doing their diligence this offseason as it pertains to prospects. Unlike a usual lead up to the NFL Draft, where teams host pre-draft visits, the coronavirus pandemic has kept the meetings not only virtual, but also secretive.

In a usual NFL calendar, teams will release the players they have met with as they host 30+ visits leading up to the big event. Now, it is dependent on the players to announce who they have met with, both at the NFL Scouting Combine and in these virtual meetings.

According to Josh Edwards of CBS, Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans has had a virtual interview with the black-and-gold with the draft just days away.

When you consider Evans being added to the depth chart, it becomes a mixed bag of goods at running back. You have James Conner as the entrenched, yet oft-injured, starter, Benny Snell Jr. being a second year back, Kerrith Whyte Jr. and Jaylen Samuels rounding out the depth chart. This isn’t even mentioning Trey Edmunds, who does make special teams contributions to the team.

Where would a back like Evans fit? Tough to predict right now, but if you are like me, and don’t know much about a player like Evans, check out the synopsis of what he brings to an NFL team from his NFL Draft Profile below:

Overview

Slashing outside-zone runner with glide in his stride and ability to run with elusiveness and creativity. Evans is a little undersized and might be viewed as a change-of-pace option, but he appears to have the three-down skill set to handle committee carries. He can run with patience, but has the loose hips and agile feet to plant-and-go in a hurry. He sees the field and does a nice job of setting up and eluding tacklers with lateral cuts or stacked moves. While he’s confident in space, Evans lacks the commitment and finishing force to make a living inside the tackles. His third-down and kick-return versatility increases the likelihood that Evans will hear his name called in the middle rounds with a chance to become a solid RB2.

Strengths

  • Grabbed larger chunks of production pie in both 2018 and 2019
  • Has talent as one-cut back in outside zone
  • Runs low and smooth with plus change of direction quickness
  • Rare ball security with no fumbles in 482 carries
  • Hips are fluid and loose for short-area swivel
  • Takes away tackle angles once he’s past second level
  • Patient runner who sets up open-field tacklers, leaving their feet in mud
  • Sneaky leak out on screens with quick run after the catch
  • Proven effective as kick returner
  • Aggressive lead shoulder on blitz pickup and chip blocks

Weaknesses

  • Lacking determination as inside runner
  • Decelerates and tucks into interior contact
  • Needs better recognition to find cutbacks
  • A little inconsistent navigating run lanes at times
  • Elusive but not a strong tackle breaker
  • Needs to speed up his process as route runner
  • Smallish for blitz take-on duties and could give way

What do you think of Evans as a prospect? Could he be a great middle round find? Or should the Steelers target a more higher profile back earlier in the draft? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft.