4 LA Rams rookies entering 2023 NFL season with a chip on their shoulder

Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Cobie Durant
Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Cobie Durant / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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LA Rams roster running back Zach Evans
Zach Evans Ole Miss / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Player IV: RB Zach Evans

Despite being recognized as the third-best rookie running back prospect on the 2023 NFL Draft board, Ole Miss running back Zach Evans had to patiently wait until late on Day 3 to get the call from the LA Rams to confirm that they would be selecting him with the 215th overall pick. That is quite a long wait, and Evans had plenty of time to ponder his strategy when he arrived in the NFL.

While he is not exactly an oversized powerhouse, there is no denying that the 5-foot-11 202-pound running back out of Ole Miss knows what to do with the football in his hands, and how to get it there on passing plays. He competed for TCU for two seasons, then transferred to play one more season for Ole Miss. Through it all, Zach Evans continued to make the most of his opportunities, delivering explosive bursts from the backfield no matter which team he played for.

What NFL team doesn't have room for a running back who averages 6.9 yards per rush, and a rushing touchdown at a rate of 6.2 percent of his carries? Apparently none but the LA Rams, because Evans sait on the board through 2.5 days of the 2023 NFL Draft before he was selected with the 215th pick. Were there reasons he fell? Perhaps. He did suffer several injuries in college, but none are believed to impact his play nor to be repeat concerns at the next level.

Peeved off enough to realize his full potential

What are we so excited about? Just check out this video of his Ole Miss highlights:

He was cited in one draft profile with concerns about his ability to keep a handle on the football. But the most likely reason is that running backs are not the flavor of the day in terms of NFL offensive strategy, and Evans's draft stock likely fell because the demand for the position is at a nadir in terms of NFL trends are concerned.

So why did the LA Rams add a lower-value position during a draft where RB seemed to be a much lower priority than other players who were still on the board? The truth is that Zach Evans is an exciting offensive weapon who displays tremendous versatility. That value to upgrade the Rams roster by adding Zach Evans was more than just a 2023 NFL season need. He is a larger and far more versatile RB (by draft profile) than the Rams added in Kyren Williams or Ronnie Rivers, and he could be in line to take over for feature running back Cam Akers if the Rams are not interested in extending Akers.

I really like Zach Evans. He does not flash any superhuman athleticism, but rather has the ironclad mindset to bring it on each and every play. He has the potential to fit the LA Rams offense like a glove, and he arrives late enough in the draft to realize that potential in this offense.