7. Jerod Evans (Jr.) – Virginia Tech
Height: 6-3 Weight: 230
40-Yard Dash: 4.80
3,552 passing yards, 29 TDs, 8 INTs, 63.5% comp. %
Player Comparison: Brett Hundley
Projected Draft Round: 3-5
Evans is a big, strong duel-threat quarterback with limited starting experience. He made a lot of eye popping throws down the field and had a willingness to give his receivers an opportunity to make a play. He’s effective throwing the ball on the move and is a playmaker in the open field as a runner. His film against Boston College from 2016 was impressive. He was hitting slant routes with zip and accuracy on a consistent basis. Most of his throws were leading receivers open and away from coverage. He made a few daring, down the field throws in double coverage that were perfectly thrown. Then you put on the film against Notre Dame, and you don’t see that consistency. At one point, it seemed like he had a case of the yips; fumbling read option plays at the mesh point, the ball slipping out of his hands, releasing the ball and mishandling snaps. He looked downright uncomfortable, and I wondered if he might get yanked in that game against Notre Dame, but he stuck it out and made some plays with his arm and his legs down the stretch that facilitated a fourth quarter comeback. Although I believe Pitt’s Nathan Peterman is a better pro prospect right now, I think Evans’s upside is much higher.
What They’re Saying:
“Mechanically, his throwing motion remains high and smooth, with an easy release and a tightly spun ball and can adjust his release point at times, including on the move. While his pocket navigation footwork is still a substantial work in progress, he appears confident and composed with his mechanics and placement. His anticipation as a play progressing passer and shotgun drop passer need work, and he relies on offensive balance and rhythm within that offense to produce consistently over the course of a drive.”
-Eric Galko (Optimum Scouting)
“Evans shocked many when he chose to declare for the draft after only one year as a starter, but there is certainly something to work with in Evans. He has the arm strength and talent to play in a vertical offense and the athleticism to extend plays with his feet, but there’s no question that Evans needs time to perfect the nuances of quarterbacking to maximize his potential.”
I think the Bills already have their Evans on the roster in Cardale Jones. He’s a developmental prospect with high upside and raw skills, but needs some maturing at the next level. It’s entirely possible a team falls in love with Evans and takes him as early as the third or fourth round, but I don’t think that team will be the Bills. His skills translate nicely into Rick Dennison’s offense, but I struggle to wrap my head around the idea of Doug Whaley and Sean McDermott using a draft pick on a quarterback that’s nearly a carbon copy of the quarterback you used a draft pick on last year.
I loved this play from Evans. When you watch it live, you probably come away thinking it was an overthrow, but it was a gem. It was a decisive strike deep over the middle of the field; the receiver just botched it. These are the types of plays you see a lot on film, but the next play is a representation of a play you see a lot as well, and that’s the knock on Evans.
What you see here is a great example poor pocket awareness. Evans never takes his eyes off of his first option and does a poor job of getting depth in his drop. To me, it looked like there may have been a miscommunication with his receiver, but it started with bad footwork and lazy eyes. His pocket awareness and ability to maneuver a cluttered pocket are key areas he needs to improve his game.