The Falcons currently have plenty of options at the running back position behind Gurley with Brian Hill, Ito Smith, Qadree Wilson, and Craig Reynolds. So, what’s exactly missing from this lovely bunch? Speed. Exceptional speed.
Falcons general manager, Thomas Dimitroff said the team “has not ruled out looking for another speed back in the draft” despite thinking Gurley remains explosive, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.
Gurley may not be as speedy as he once was three years ago but that just comes with age and going to battle each week.
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Falcons Linked to App State Running Back
The Falcons’ first priority in this year’s NFL draft will be a cornerback and Dimitroff plans on adding more than just one to the roster this year. Then they’ll look into a defensive tackle and edge rusher.
We’ll have to wait until day 3 to see which running back they’ll go for. However, various latest mock drafts have Atlanta linked to Appalachian State’s tailback weapon, Darrynton Evans.
According to thedraftnetwork.com, he is a very “dangerous threat.”
Appalachian State running back Darryton Evans is an explosive runner with plenty of juice and wiggle that makes him a dangerous threat in space with home run hitting potential. He is an ideal complement to a stable of backs that is in need of a space player with return upside. With that said, his spotty vision and slow processing skills present some challenges forecasting him to a heavy workload that features touches as an inside runner. Condensed, heavy traffic areas reveal discomfort from Evans and his power to win through contact is modest. Big play potential is always a welcomed trait for an NFL team, but Evans doesn’t come without restrictions.
The Falcons’ fourth-round pick is at No. 143. If Evans is still available, they won’t want him to past them by.
Don’t Sleep on Craig Reynolds
While the Falcons have a nice depth of running backs, there is one who has yet to see the field, Craig Reynolds.
He finished his collegiate career at Kutztown University as the school’s third all-time leading rusher with 2,650 yards and second in school history with 5,277 all-purpose yards. The Redskins discovered him after college and he played three games for them before coming to the Falcons.
The 23-year-old has been training every day this offseason to come back and compete for a backup position.
Reynolds played both sides of the ball in high school at running back and tight end. He told heavy.com he would be ready to play anywhere.
“It’s a new year, new things can happen, I consider myself an athlete, if they [Falcons] asked me to do anything, yeah I would do it.”
The NFL needs more versatile players like Reynolds. It proves he’s an athlete and any player with this kind of mentality should be given a chance to play.