A prized JUCO transfer, Justin Fuente and the Virginia Tech Hokies scored the ultimate prize when Jerod Evans decided to take his talents to Blacksburg – foregoing offers from other prestigious schools, Texas A&M despite the proximity from home as he’s a Dallas, Texas native.
Evans immediately made an impact for the Hokies and proved to live up to the hype. In his only season at Virginia Tech, he passed for over 3,500 yards with 29 TDs-8 INTs while completing over 63% of his passes, while adding 846 yards on the ground with an extra 12 TDs. He displayed great ability as a leader and general of the offense and brought a moxie under center which the Hokies have been longing for.
In a surprise twist, Evans decided to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft – you could even say him declaring was the most shocking among the big names in college football. With a limited sample size at the DI level, an extra year at Virginia Tech likely would’ve been the best decision for him – but a lot more goes into making decisions of that magnitude from a student-athlete than the outside eye can perceive.
Name: Jerod Evans
Size: 6’3”/232/33 1/8” Arm Length
School: Virginia Tech
Comparison: Collin Klein
Draft Grade: Priority UDFA
Combine Results: 40 time: 4.80 – Vertical Jump: 26.5” – Broad Jump: 112” – 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.41
Positives: Plays with demeanor, moxie and confidence. Adequate vertical arm strength. Sets feet well on quick strikes over the middle. Places the ball extremely well in the endzone with terrific touch – particularly on fades. Displays good timing on comeback routes. Viable athlete who is a weapon on the ground. Power in his lower body. Can break out the first down run on 3rd & long. Hard to bring down on the run due to size and toughness. Good leader and will continue to fight despite a big deficit.
Negatives: Unorthodox mechanics with a wide release. Seems to deliver passes with a loose grip. Jerky shift in body weight when he releases the ball and will lunge in the final motion. Not a developed pocket passer and will rely on the run if nothing opens up quickly through the air. Passes lack ideal zip and come out soft and wobbly. Struggles to put the warranted amount of velocity on passes in all phases of the field. Balls land a bit too low. Wild accuracy in the short game. Fails to set up on screen passes and will see one sail away from time to time. Struggles at throwing diagonally to the sidelines. Doesn’t deal with pressure in the pocket well. Will lock on to a single receiver. Overall, doesn’t always scan the field. Slow to develop play action. Alarming ball security. Frequently bobbles the snap which leads to fumbles. Too slow on handoff at times and doesn’t exchange it cleanly. Tore ACL as a freshman.
Outlook: Recently Jerod Evans has gained some draft stock and seems to be the standout among the bottom tier QBs late on Day 3. He was a standout in his only season at Virginia Tech, although he delivered quite the shock when he declared for the 2017 NFL Draft after his junior season. Ultimately, I don’t think Evans’ game translates well to the NFL. He’s really slow in a lot of aspects. His inability to cleanly snatch snaps is something that will fly under the radar – it will only get worse when he starts playing under center. Overall his arm won’t get it done at the next level either. Evans plays with tremendous confidence and leadership, but those skills don’t always lead a path as a player in the NFL. I have an undrafted grade on him, although he’s sure to get picked at some point on the final day of the draft. An extra year in school would’ve done him good.