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Grading the Bengals’ selection of Chris Evans

The Bengals find a quality third-down running back in the sixth round.

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals closed out their sixth round selections by taking Michigan Wolverines running back Chris Evans. He’s a 5-11 running back who comes in at 211 pounds.

The highlight for Evans is his pass-catching ability, which he showed off at Michigan. He also is a very good pass-blocking back as well.

The knock on Evans has to deal with being kicked off the team in 2019 due to academic issues. He did return to the team in 2020 after spending 2019 taking online classes but rarely got any touches for whatever reason.

Here is NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein had to say about Evans:

Running back with good size and adequate athletic traits but lacking dynamic or explosive qualities to help him stand out. Evans served a suspension in 2019 and had very few totes in 2020. From 2016 to 2018, he ran to his size and was productive relative to what was asked of him. His pad level and contact balance will create yards after contact and he’ll get what is blocked. However, his greatest selling point will be his size and ability to play on third down. Those two things could help rehabilitate his draft stock, but there will be an abundance of competition for the job he will be looking for. It could just be a matter of finding the right place at the right time.

This was the pick Cincinnati got from sending Cincinnati legendary quarterback Ryan Finley to the Texans after they were prepared to part ways with the quarterback via waiving him. Ironically, it is seemingly being used to try and replace a hole left by releasing Giovanni Bernard. It was very likely they were going to take a running back in this draft, and grabbing one like Evans in Round 6 isn’t a terrible pick if they can keep him focused.

Grade: B