Jerod Evans 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 235 pounds
School: Virginia Tech Hokies

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.80 seconds
Vertical jump: 26.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 4 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds

Jerod Evans 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Jerod Evans has a very interesting backstory that is remarkably similar to that of Cam Newton. He was unheralded coming out of Mansfield High School in Texas. The offensive system he ran was run heavy, rarely being able to showcase his ability as a passer, which landed him at the Air Force Academy. However, he tore his ACL his freshman year and decided this was not the school for him. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, TX, a suburb of Dallas (a conference foe of Cam Newton’s Blinn College).

His numbers at TVCC were absolutely ridiculous: 3,100 yards and 38 touchdowns. That is an incredible season, and he accomplished all of this in only eight games. That season resulted in Evans becoming a four-star recruit and the number one dual-threat quarterback in the state. Evans subsequently decided to go to Virginia Tech. As a Hokie, his numbers were outstanding, throwing for 3,500 yards and 29 touchdowns to go with 820 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. These are all single season records, and they had a guy named Michael Vick who lined up at quarterback for the Hokies.

A successful season, culminating in a Belk Bowl win versus Arkansas, led Evans to be invited to the Combine. Unfortunately, the invitation was probably the only positive regarding the Combine. His footwork in under center, pro-style 3, 5, and 7-foot drops looked awkward and unbalanced at times. When in shorts and a t-shirt, these things must be precise for NFL quarterbacks, especially those wanting to be drafted high. For Evans, it was a struggle. As the case is with every quarterback, his arm is tied to his legs, with poor feet come poor throws. He was inaccurate at times during drills, missing high and low due to inconsistency with his base and legs. At his Pro Day, Evans was better as his footwork and his arm strength were on display. This, coupled with better ball placement, made for a better day than the Combine. This was probably because he was in a familiar setting, throwing to familiar receivers, as well as a lower pressure situation than the Combine.

Evans is an extremely confident player, and his swagger is on display in everything he does. Leading Tech to an 10-4 record and an ACC championship game berth, as well as having his name mentioned amongst guys like Cam Newton and Michael Vick, he deserves to be a little cocky. He has become an extremely intriguing prospect. 

Strengths

  • Size, at 6’4, 235lbs Evans possess above average the height and weight of an NFL Quarterback, he is sturdy and has big legs.
  • Arm Strength: There is no question that Evans can make every throw, he fits the ball well into windows in coverage. There is a play in the second quarter of the ACC Championship vs Clemson that Evans is standing on the left hash and throws a dart 50 yards downfield outside of the numbers on the money to Isaiah Hicks in between a safety and corner playing a soft cover two, surprising the defense who did not think he had the arm to make that throw.  
  • Very good vision as a runner.
  • Tough, very strong mentally.
  • Plays like a bulldog, would be willing to try and bulldoze smaller defensive backs when his team needed a spark.
  • Accurate when on the move outside of the pocket, Evans may be a more accurate passer when he is on the move rather than sitting in the pocket and delivering the ball.

Weaknesses

  • Footwork: extremely inconsistent and this leads to inaccuracy.
  • Mental: He played in an extremely simple offense under Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech, and it will take him a while to adjust to a complex NFL offense, in both the lingo and versus tough NFL defenses.
  • Reads: Where he looks first is where he throws. He rarely if ever got to his second and third progression especially versus good defenses. If the initial read was not there Evans would take off and run even if he had time to step up in the pocket.  
  • Awkward throwing motion: he posses a hitch at the top of his delivery.
  • Ball placement: Inconsistent ball placement, he can sometimes lead his receivers into dangerous positions or without any opportunity to run after the catch. For example, he is would too often throw behind receivers who had to make adjustments to catch a ball thrown behind them.

NFL Comparison: Cam Newton

Teams With Need at Position: Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers

Projection: fifth to sixth round

Bottom Line

The choice for Jerod Evans to forgo his senior year and enter the draft came as a shock to many. But when you couple that with two of Virginia Tech’s best play makers, Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges, also leaving for the next level and Evans already having led his team to a division championship, one could imagine why he left. Evans will be a project quarterback in the league. He will benefit from sitting behind an established starter for a couple of seasons while he gets acclimated to NFL offenses and defenses. Down the line, if he can work on his footwork to be more consistent, he can be a starter. However, for the foreseeable future he will be a serviceable backup.    

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