High School and College Career
Zach Evans was a 5-star recruit from North Shore High School prior to joining Texas Christian University (TCU) to play football.
In his freshman year, which was in 2020, Evans was a key contributor to the Horned Frogs. He was featured in nine games and rushed for an impressive 415 yards on just 54 attempts, thus averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Evans also demonstrated his scoring prowess by finding the endzone four times, with only one fumble. The young player was not as involved in the passing game much, with just eight catches for 76 yards.
The following year, as a sophomore in 2021, Evans played in six games and rushed for 648 yards on 92 carries, with an impressive 7.0 yards per carry average. Evans demonstrated his ability to score as he found the endzone five times, again with one fumble. He recorded ten receptions for 130 yards.
After his second year at TCU, Evans transferred to Ole Miss. As a junior, he played in 11 games, starting nine of them. He rushed for a total of 893 yards on 136 attempts. for an average of 6.6 yards per carry. He scored 8 touchdowns and fumbled 3 times. He had eight receptions for 93 yards.
Zach Evans Scouting Report Introduction
In the 2022 season, Zachary Evans joined the Ole Miss football program as a running back after beginning his college journey at Texas Christian University (TCU). He was designated as the starting running back for Ole Miss and delivered promising performances in the beginning. However, as the season progressed, the team adopted a running back-by-committee approach, resulting in fluctuating carries for Evans. Despite this, he accumulated over 900 rushing yards and scored nine touchdowns.
As a running back prospect, Zachary Evans brings a well-rounded skill set to the table, boasting an ideal combination of speed, size, and functional strength. These attributes contribute to his productivity on the field. At Ole Miss, he played in a spread offense characterized by zone principles in the running game, which allowed him to display his full range of talents. In zone running scenarios, Evans excels in stretching plays and patiently waits behind the scrimmage line for an opening to emerge. Once he identifies a gap, he makes an aggressive cut, charges vertically into the hole, and consistently gains extra yards.
When moving upfield, Evans demonstrates remarkable explosiveness as a linear runner, with his exceptional burst and acceleration on full display. His speed enables him to achieve significant gains and dramatically shift field positions. Additionally, Evans is not just an explosive runner; he also brings a level of physicality to his game. He is adept at completing runs, lowering his pad level, and attempting to power through defenders in order to gain those hard-fought yards between the tackles.
Areas where Evans could improve, include his limited contribution to the passing game. Over his three years in college football, he has demonstrated minimal production as a receiver. Furthermore, Evans seems to be more effective as a linear back, performing best when running north and south. This could impact his productivity when confronted with early interior penetration, as it may limit his ability to use lateral moves to evade defenders and maintain productivity.
One particular skill that Evans has displayed is his ability to track the ball over his shoulder and locate the ball in the air. Additionally, Evans shows good flexibility and balance, which allows him to adjust to a poorly thrown pass and still make a play on the ball.
Another strength that Evans brings to the field is his strong vision and patience for screens. Evans’ straight-line speed is another key asset, which, when combined with his flexibility, is a great advantage as it allows Evans to turn the corner on the perimeter and maintain his maximum speed. Look for him to be targeted by teams that like to put explosive players in motion and aren’t afraid to run a few jet sweeps each week.
Another area where Evans excels is his strong running inside. He moves quickly toward the line of scrimmage and has the necessary burst to get through it and into the second level without delay. His running style is very traditional; he always moves north-south and doesn’t waste time going sideways. Evans’ initial burst is also excellent, which means he can make quick gains even when starting from a still position.
He has a knack for breaking tackles, which can turn a minimal gain into a big run. Evans is a creative runner who is able to find cut-back lanes and make use of them effectively. He looks like a return specialist on some of his longer runs, darting in and out of gaps with ease.
Finally, Evans has exceptional stop-start ability in traffic, allowing him to move forward even when there seems to be nothing. His balance, lateral agility, and body control also give him the ability to get past defenders and gain yardage even in difficult situations.
Evans does not possess a particularly strong ability to create separation. Despite having good timed speed, Evans struggles to get open against defensive backs consistently.
One reason for this may be his form and technique when running routes. Evans sometimes appears too upright in his stance, which can leave him vulnerable to being physicality out-muscled by defenders.
Another area where Evans may have some weaknesses is in his ability to contribute as a blocker. This may not have been a deal breaker in college, but NFL coaches will not accept this out of their players.
Finally, Evans does not have a particularly violent or explosive run-after-catch ability. This trait is often associated with elite receivers who can turn short receptions into long gains by breaking tackles and making defenders miss. Without this ability, Evans may struggle to gain significant yardage after the catch and maximize his potential as a playmaker.
Zach Evans is the 166th prospect on our draft big board.