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Summer Sleeper: Darren Evans

we continue our Summer Sleeper series to today with Darren Evans of the Indianapolis Colts and it begins with an apology.

Say what?

That’s right. We owe the DLF faithful a bit of an apology this morning. You see, we’ve been watching Evans for a few weeks, but just hadn’t had the chance to finish this post.  In fact, we felt collectively that we wanted to focus on other sleepers once Joseph Addai was brought back into the fold in Indy. I actually dropped Evans in the original DLF league founded by our group here eight years ago.

We were wrong to hesitate in bringing you the information and hope it’s not too late.

Evans is no scrub trying to make a team. Many of you might remember him from his days at Virginia Tech where he set a Freshman record with 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was completely off the radar after a torn ACL wiped out his 2009 season. Evans returned last year and it was he (not Ryan Williams of the Cardinals) who led the Hokies in rushing with 854 yards on a 5.7 yards per carry average.

Evans went undrafted and I for one was thrilled to see him sign with the Colts once the lockout was over. I was equally dismayed when they signed Chad Spann off the street. I was devastated when they brought back Joseph Addai, making the chances of Evans making this team go from slim to none.

Then came Saturday.

Evans’ debut with the Colts was great. He had 52 yards on eight carries. The aftermath this morning is what’s really been noteworthy. The Indianapolis papers are stating that Evans is “giving the team something to talk about” and Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted this morning that Evans is going to be pushing Delone Carter for short yardage duties. He also mentioned they keep the best players, regardless of draft position.

Not bad after one showing.

Perspective needs to be used with Evans. It’s one preseason game and many of his yards came against the second and third teams. However, Evans does have talent and would have been a high pick in the draft if not for his injury history.

This is the time to grab players who at least have a chance. Evans has Addai, Brown and Carter ahead of him at the very least, but he’s making up ground quickly.

Again, he has a chance.

Ken Kelly
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nzkoston
10 years ago

this guy doesnt seem to be available to be picked up on espn fantasy football yet.

DLF_KenK
Reply to  nzkoston
10 years ago

Yeah, he isn’t. He is on MFL leagues. I’d consult your commish on how to proceed. Most would let you drop a player and leave an open spot that’s reserved for him.

Bigcsr67
10 years ago

Yada yada yada….. Next week Evans will do squat, and some other guy will have a good game, and he will be the next big thing. What happened to the Delone Carter love fest from just weeks ago? Let’s see this whole preseason shake out a little more before we get too excited about any one guy. I know you guys are trying to lay claim to the next super sleeper, but you just can’t go labeling guys after a measly preseason game…. C’mon man!

DLF_KenK
Reply to  Bigcsr67
10 years ago

Oh there’s no doubt that every player we list as a Summer Sleeper has little chance to hit it big time. Thing is, he has a chance and we feel it’s our responsibility to share that in case someone has an open roster spot.

If we ignored preseason performances entirely, we’d have missed on guys like Marques Colston. Sure, many will bust, but my experience tells me that at least one of Denarius Moore, Darren Evans, Josh Portis, Dorin Dickerson or Marcus Easley make an impact in a dynasty league sooner rather than later.

sportsbook
Reply to  Bigcsr67
10 years ago

I disagree with Bigcsr. You can definitely label someone a super sleeper if you see potential, like the landing spot and the player has talent. If he’s not a super sleeper, who is?

hosler427
10 years ago

The fact is, Evans didn’t come out of nowhere. He was one of the top RBs in the country before his injury. I don’t view him as a flavor of the week. He will make an impact somewhere, eventually.

VADukes
10 years ago

I watched the game and although the numbers don’t show it, I actually liked Spann as well as Evans if not more so. Most of Evans yards seemed to come in the last minute of the 4th quarter whereas Spann had a few nice runs in the beginning of the 3rd quarter followed by a great catch and run for 28 yards. His kickoff returns were messy but if he can lock down that position then he may have a better chance of making the roster than Evans. If you check the Colts blog on SBnation you can see some comments that seem to support this thinking. Colts fans saw some burst in Spann that they liked.

FFHoudini
10 years ago

I agree with “VADukes”. I think Spann is actually the more talented of the Colts’ FA RB’s and hopefully he’ll show that over the next few preseason games.

Y. O. P. P.
10 years ago

evans is a good story if he makes it – as a former Indiana Mr Football – but after watching, as a previous poster stated, most of his damage was done in the last minute against UPS drivers and insurance agents . I hope he makes it- as I was in blacksburg when he got there and told the locals this kid was the real deal – he then went out and proved it. BUT !
5th string tailback on a pass pass pass passing heavy team with 2 1st round picks and a rookie draft choice ahead of you on the depth chart is a huge mountain to climb. I say practice squad if he is lucky
Good Luck however

Steve
Reply to  Y. O. P. P.
10 years ago

Just two years ago, Arian Foster fell in this same hole… a close to guaranteed 1st round draft pick after his Junior year, was on the Volunteer team his senior year that fell apart so badly that Phil Fulmer was fired after 20+ years. Arian went undrafted in the NFL… picked up by the Texans, had a solid preseason, but was added to the practice squad.

When he got called of the practice squad I immediately added him because of his background.

I fully think at least paying attention to preseason, while taking into account their sum total of college work is important.

Sometimes the depth chart or draft positions can be deceiving… especially for a player that suffered injury in college (junior or senior year) or played on a team that underperformed.

Nightmarion
10 years ago

Would you prefer Evans over Johnny White?

DLF_KenK
Reply to  Nightmarion
10 years ago

I’d still take White, but ask me again on Monday. Heh.

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