The closer we get to a CBA agreement is the closer the NFL gets to making another batch of undrafted rookies' dreams come true. There were seven rounds in the NFL draft last April that saw 254 players have their dreams realized when they were drafted by their respective NFL teams. But for a good number of players that dream was put on hold. They had to continue their workouts and continue holding out hope that they would have their day that they could say they are a NFL player.
Darren Evans was one of those players. The former Virginia Tech running back was told that he was a 5th-7th rounder and could possibly go undrafted in this past NFL draft. The 6'0 227lb Evans came off a 2010 season in which he rushed for 857 yards on 151 carries for a 5.7 yards per carry average. He scored 11 touchdowns while splitting carries with co-star Ryan Williams. Evans has to sit out the entire 2009 season with a torn ACL while he was coming off of a freshman season with 1254 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Chiefs brought in Williams before the draft for a visit last spring and they could have got some information about Evans from Williams during that visit. The Chiefs have been known to get information on certain players from their former teammates. They talked with Sean Weatherspoon at Missouri about Aldon Smith before Smith was drafted 7th overall by San Francisco, they had also talked with Tony Moeaki about his friend at Iowa, Ricky Stanzi, before the Chiefs ended up selecting Stanzi in the 5th round of this past draft.
Maybe they got some good information about the low risk, high reward player in Evans that could find himself learning behind another running back that played college ball in the state of Virginia, Thomas Jones. The Chiefs need a young running back in the system that will be able to step in and share carries with Jamaal Charles sooner rather than later.
The idea of getting an UDFA running back only makes perfect sense for a Chiefs team that has built itself around the strength of its' running game over the last year and a half. The organization knows that Thomas Jones will not be around for another year after this next season and they will need to find someone that will be able to step in and contribute right away. If they wait another year to make a move to find that player they are setting themselves up for a problem if the player they go with, maybe through the draft next year, doesn't work out and have Thomas Jones not still be around.
By taking Evans you are giving the young player with a lot of upside one year to show that they don't have to draft someone next year to step in and be the guy to share carries with Charles. There was another recent undrafted running back that stood at 6'1 227 lbs, and his name was Arian Foster. Not that every running back that goes undrafted will have the same impact that Arian Foster has had for the Texans, but it has happened before.
The Chiefs don't have anything to lose by giving Evans a shot to make the team and earn the chance to prove he has a spot on this team moving forward.