The New Orleans Saints will hopefully enjoy many more years of Alvin Kamara dominating the run, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for future starter hopefuls.
The most recent prospect to land on NOLA’s radar is the University of Mississippi’s Zach Evans, who announced he was transferring to Ole Miss earlier this year. Evans made waves in the college football world when he decided to join Ole Miss in the SEC West and is expected to make a big impact after putting together a respectable sophomore campaign at TCU.
The former five-star prospect in the Class of 2020 played just six games last season for the Horned Frogs but led the team in rushing with 648 yards and five touchdowns and added 130 receiving yards and one touchdown reception.
Evans had been linked to Georgia, Alabama, Texas and LSU during his recruitment as the No. 16 overall prospect and ultimately committed to TCU. Now, he’ll enter the most pivotal seasons of his college career before he declares for the NFL Draft.
Ole Miss’ Zach Evans is a dynamic running back option for Saints in 2023 NFL Draft
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner listed one 2023 draft prospect every NFL team should be watching and picked Evans for the Saints:
"It’s a shame we haven’t gotten to see Evans featured much on a big stage yet, but that figures to change in 2022 after he transferred to Ole Miss. He’s got such a loose running style that can eat contact without breaking stride. On 146 career carries, he’s averaged 7.3 yards per attempt with 4.8 of that after contact."
Of course, Evans has quite the journey to go before he assumedly enters the draft. A toe injury caused him to miss much of the 2021 season, and when Evans was on the field, he only averaged 9.7 carries per game.
He has the potential to play a significant role in Ole Miss’ passing game, too, and should draw close-eyed attention from several NFL teams as long as he continues to improve his game.
Evans reportedly looks up to Saints’ Alvin Kamara and wants to model his game after him, so at least we know he has good taste.
New Orleans mortgaged much of their future by trading with the Eagles and nabbing Chris Olave and Trevor Penning, and the first pick the team has in 2023 is the 33rd overall selection. It’s much too early to project where Evans might fall on the board, but in the mid- or later rounds he may prove to be a worthy running back option.
The Saints’ running back corps will probably need extra starting-caliber potential in 2023, and Evans could be the next new kid on the block.