In this edition of Daytime Fireworks, Zach Berry and David Brandt set the stage for Ole Miss football in the seven-round 2023 NFL Draft, which opens with the first 31 selections Thursday night.
The Rebels have double-digit potential draftees, headlined by wide receiver Jonathan Mingo, one of the draft’s fastest risers over the last few months. But Zach and David believe one former Rebel, in particular, is being undervalued by next-level evaluators.
Here’s a brief excerpt from their extended conversation.
ZACH: The Pro Football Focus Top 200 prospects ahead of Thursday’s NFL Draft, Zach Evans landed at No. 151. Battled injuries (at Ole Miss) and was in concussion protocol late in the year. But, man, a guy that could really make somebody look really smart if he can put it all together and stay out of the training room.
Former five-start prospect and has all the tools. Elite balance, he’s got an extra gear in the open field and he’s really physical even though he’s not the biggest guy.
DAVID: That’s what made that one-two punch (with Quinshon Judkins, the new single-season Ole Miss record-holder for rushing yards in a season) so interesting this year. He averaged nearly 7.0 yards a carry in his career.
He reminds me a little, and this guy’s a little bigger than him I think, but the Cardinals have James Conner who played on the (Pittsburgh) Steelers. I like that ceiling for him. I don’t know if he’s a true overall No. 1 back, but not many teams have that now. It’s kind of by-committee, and I definitely think Evans could help an NFL organization in the backfield as a part of a tandem and be really productive. At 151, if you pick him up in the fourth or fifth round, that could be a really good pick.
ZACH: The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has him going in the fourth round to the (Carolina) Panthers. He had some pre-draft visits with Dallas, New Orleans, Cincinnati and Washington. Also met up with Carolina and Tampa Bay.
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