Bears Add Athletic All-Purpose RB With Tarik Cohen on the Way Out

Darrynton Evans

Getty RB Darrynton Evans is heading to the Windy City.

The Chicago Bears have been awarded former Tennessee Titans running back Darrynton Evans off waivers, the team announced on March 11. The move comes the same day NFL insider Adam Schefter reported the Bears are releasing running back Tarik Cohen with an injury designation.

Evans was a third-round draft pick for the Titans (93rd overall), out of Appalachian State in 2020, with the aim of making Evans the ideal compliment to All-Pro Derrick Henry. He played three seasons with the Mountaineers before declaring for the draft and tested well at the 2020 NFL scouting combine, where he had a 40-yard dash time of 4.41 seconds.

Talented, speedy and athletic, Evans didn’t see the field much during his two seasons with the Titans, playing in just six games over two years. A hamstring injury landed him on injured reserve in 2020, and he wound up on IR again last season with a knee injury. Now, he’ll get a second chance to showcase his talents in the Windy City.

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A Look at Evans’ College & Pro Stats

In his three seasons at Appalachian State, Evans carried the ball 482 times, gaining 2,884 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and scoring rushing 25 touchdowns. He also caught 39 passes for 319 yards and six scores, while also serving as a kickoff returner. He was quite the playmaker on special teams, as well, averaging 25.7 yards per return while also scoring three TDs.

He didn’t have near as many opportunities with the Titans, getting bit by the injury bug in each of his first two seasons. He finished his career in Tennessee with 16 carries for 61 yards, along with four catches for 38 yards and a TD.

He also returned 10 kicks with the Titans, averaging 22.3 yards per return.

Considering Evans also missed the entire 2017 season with the Mountaineers due to a muscle injury in his right knee, his injury history is the major red flag to be concerned about.

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When Healthy, Evans Can Be Solid Role Player

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back has displayed flashes of athleticism in both college and the pros, and his evaluation entering the 2020 draft was solid. Here’s how draft expert Lance Zierlein described Evans then:

Slashing outside-zone runner with glide in his stride and ability to run with elusiveness and creativity. Evans is a little undersized and might be viewed as a change-of-pace option, but he appears to have the three-down skill set to handle committee carries. He can run with patience, but has the loose hips and agile feet to plant-and-go in a hurry. He sees the field and does a nice job of setting up and eluding tacklers with lateral cuts or stacked moves. While he’s confident in space, Evans lacks the commitment and finishing force to make a living inside the tackles. His third-down and kick-return versatility increases the likelihood that Evans will hear his name called in the middle rounds with a chance to become a solid RB2.

It’s clear talent isn’t the issue for Evans, who may benefit from the change of scenery. With David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert already No. 1 and 2 on the depth chart at running back, Evans should compete for the third roster spot.

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