Musing on the Possibility of Jerod Evans Entering the NFL Draft

Thoughts on a report that Virginia Tech's quarterback is testing the waters in the NFL.

[Michael Shroyer]

It was a foregone conclusion for most of Hokie Nation that Bucky Hodges would delcare for the NFL Draft. Few would bat an eye if Isaiah Ford opts for the pros. After all, there are only so many Tech receiving records to be broken. However, the Virginia Tech faithful would be stunned if QB Jerod Evans forgoes his senior season in Blacksburg for NFL designs.

After Tech's improbable 35-24 Belk Bowl win over Arkansas, Evans passed on the opportunity to squash any talk of making the jump to the NFL.

Couple those post-game comments with a report (albeit single-sourced) that Evans is inclined to pursue a career on Sundays and Hokies are left scratching their heads.

Whether you believe Evans would benefit from another year of Justin Fuente's tutelage — his progressions, accuracy (especially on deep balls), and pocket presence all need to get better to play on Sundays — or that he is flat out making a mistake does not matter. There is plenty to speculate about, but ultimately it's Evans' choice to consider his circumstances and make the decision best for himself and his family. Perhaps it is as simple as he believes he is good enough to be drafted, which is all that matters.

Evans generated gaudy stats in 2016. He completed 268 passes for 3,546 yards (63.5%), 29 TDs, and 8 INTs. He also rushed 204 times for 846 yards and 12 scores. That production on the ground was good enough to lead Tech in yards and TDs. It really masked the Hokies inability to run the ball outside of Evans' contributions.

Even though his numbers are comparable to other (projected) draft picks, Evans is not listed among Draft Wire's top 10 QBs, NFLDraftScout.com's top QB prospects, or WalterFootball.com's top QBs. In fact, it's a struggle to find Evans on any mainstream draft list.

If Evans does bolt for the league, the Hokies are in a precarious position. Quarterback depth would be perilously thin with Josh Jackson as the only scholarship QB on Tech's roster for spring ball. Fuente was bullish on Jackson's potential in August, and Jackson briefly flirted with winning Tech's QB1 job during camp. However, at the end of the day he did not beat out Evans, and Jackson has no game experience.

Hendon Hooker is committed to the Hokies' 2017 recruiting class, but would arrive in Blacksburg over the summer. Fuente identified the 3-star (247Sports Composite) Dudley HS prospect early in the recruiting cycle (relative to his employment at Tech), and that might bode well for his fit in Fuente's scheme.

As far as the Hokies' future on-the-field prospects are concerned, much like in December 2015, the (re-)recruitment of Jerod Evans is Virginia Tech's most pressing task this offseason.

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Comments

Fuente and Guerry just followed Malik Zaire on Twitter FWIW.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Well now, guess we've entered that sweepstakes.

maybe I am in the minority, but that is not a sweepstakes I want us to be involved in.

While we're on the subject, where the hell does the word "sweepstakes" come from?

I would rather keep Jerod but Zaire looked very, very good before he was injured and Kizer took over. I would have more faith in this team with him than with JJ next year.

It's hard for me to assess Zaire absent of the Notre Dame coaching staff disaster. Have to wonder how much damage they did and whether Fuente would be the difference in the QB that showed those things and the one that ended up transferring.

I would have more faith in this team with him than JJ next year /s

FTFY

Always choose joy.

Interesting.

Leg for wavy. Owww

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic.

This is kinda the same level of excitement when we used to watch Flight Aware and planes going to and from Blacksburg.

I hope he stays one more year. Oh what we could do if both he and Ford are back for 1 more rodeo.

“This guy is slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl full of snot!” - Mike Burnop

Means jack. He's followed other players. Evans is likely looking to see where he would place. It makes sense for him to look

I prefer Evans than Zaire any day! As a junior, he is smart to check his NFL standing with the advisory boards. Bucky did it and came back. I would be shocked if Evans declares for the draft knowing that he's a perfectionist who has some wrinkles to perfect his senior year.

Who can say. Before this year who knew what Evans could do. Maybe Zaire could do even more. Is it the system or the player?

I just don't see how jumping to the league right now could possibly be in his best interest. There is a very real chance that with another year under Fuente he is a top 3 QB going into the draft next year. He just doesn't have the acclaim that he wants to have right now. Unless he isn't concerned with draft spot and he wants to work his way in under the radar like he did at Tech. Otherwise I just don't get it.

Guy already had one knee injury. Another one next year and his dream of going pro goes from a possibility to a long shot.

As a fan, I'd love for him to come back and be the driver of this offense again because he was amazing, but IMHO it is risk/reward and he knows how fast things can come undone.

The Dude Abides

It feels to me like a young TSL reporter is prioritizing speed over accuracy, in hopes of being the first to break a story. Other than the Norm Woods quotes, there is nothing more to substantiate his rumor.

It's a good risk to take with minimal downside. If Evans goes, this guy is the first with a scoop. If he stays there is no consequence other than increased message board traffic looking for the details.

Maybe I'm too sour to the media after this past election cycle but I'm not buying this "lean" until another reporter with a history of knowing the program comes out. Seems like that would be the case by now if there were any legs to this.

Ahhhh Twitter. The authoritative news source, but to be called media without the qualifying word "social" in front of it is to elevate it unduly and is an insult to responsible professional media. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I have a lot of respect for actual journalism and those who practice it. And yeah, I know, some of them are probably on Twitter also.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

responsible professional media

I laughed here.

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate

I won't say here what I think about your response. Laugh all you want, but if you don't realize that journalism and journalists are under attack from folks that just don't like what they report, then I cannot go further without flaming out and getting nixed by the moderator. You denigrate one of the bastions of our democracy. News isn't subjective, and direct quotes and videos are not untrue just because you don't like what they say.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Guys, for the love of all that is fully dipped, please don't.

You are right, I got my back up. Ends here for me.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Chill man, it was a joke, no need to act like I slapped someone. I thought it was funny that someone mentioned responsible, professional journalism when we're dealing with a massive deluge of fake news and other sites/reporters that just want the next sensational story out there before anyone else gets it.

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate

Yeah, I agree, I over reacted to your joke for the very reasons you stated for making it. It has become so trendy these days to trash the "media" that I assumed a defensive stance and got ruffled. Hope you'll take a couple of legs from me and I'll buy you a cold one if ever we meet.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Nah we cool, fam, have a leg!

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate

There is no responsible journalism anymore, there are no more Cronkrite's out there. Today's "journalism" is only concerned with ratings and the more sensational they can make the news the better it is for them

Semper Fi

As a former (small-time) sports reporter myself, I agree that 98-99% of journalists are responsible and ethical. Unfortunately, it's a field where even a small number of irresponsible bad apples can ruin the reputation of the entire field.
That being said, this wasn't just some dude on Twitter. Ricky LaBlue is a credentialed member of the media, and TSL takes their reputation seriously (BTW not trying to pitch for the "other guys," I love TKP and plan to join the Key Players Club in a couple of weeks).
A source indicating that Evans is "leaning" toward declaring isn't really going out on too much of a limb, IMO. I would guess that if the NFL tells him he's certain to be drafted he'll go, but if there's even a small chance he'd go undrafted he would be crazy not to come back.

Leg for joining TKPC!

FYI, the NFL doesn't tell you you're certain to be drafted. It only tells you if you're projected as a round 1/2 pick.

And there is a 0.00% chance Evans would get that word from the NFL.

Actually he isn't. Evans is looking at the draft. He has told several teammates. It's possible that people that work for TSL know information.

It's a big decision for Jerod. He has a family reasons for potentially declaring. Give the kid some space.

Not buying it. I suspect he said something like if I am rated high then I am leaving. No way he would risk going undrafted or very low. Again until another credible source verifies, he should not spread rumors.

I think "looking at the draft" means submitting the paperwork to receive a grade from the NFL. I don't think it means "declaring for the draft."

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

agreed, but saying he was leaning towards draft is just dumb. He's was relative unknown coming into the season. It makes sense to see were he's graded. But if he's not a early round then he's coming back.

But if Ricky's (or Chris') source said 'leaning towards', then he can't go and say 'looking at the draft'.

I completely agree that it makes sense for Evans to get the 'Rd 1/2 or stay in school' grade now.

Still loving that no other reporter has a source. And now they are reporting based on said Twitter post. IMHO it was irresponsible to post it. And I agree with the above poster that he was just trying to get ahead of the game.

That's just not true. The same single source has talked to multiple reporters and blog/website writers.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Yep, Andy wouldn't describe Ricky as a "source close to the program".

Time to chow down on some crow. LaBlue scooped everyone, and nailed it.

Love the guy but he's making a huge mistake if he goes right now. He's a 1 read and go QB right now. That's no where close to what makes for a good NFL prospect. Plus, he needs to take a look at the success rate of QB prospects with the amount of D1 starts he has. The lower the starts, the more likely they are to bust. It's his decision and I'm usually always in favor of players getting that money, but it really is in his best interest to stay for 1 more year

This, this, & this.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

Plus, he needs to take a look at the success rate of QB prospects with the amount of D1 starts he has. The lower the starts, the more likely they are to bust.

If you have the data for this, I would LOVE to see it. It isn't that I don't believe you, I just think it would be a really interesting data set to view.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/nfl-draft/2012/lewin-career-forecast-2012

"The biggest question about LCF continues to be the importance of games started. This is still the most important variable in the equation. As I explained in last year's article, any quarterback projection system based on past performance is going to highly value collegiate games started. From 1990 to 2005, it was far and away the most important variable in determining the success of highly-drafted quarterbacks. However, there are questions about whether the rise of the spread offense is leading to number of quarterbacks who come into the NFL with a lot of collegiate experience yet still unprepared for the NFL-style game. Other quarterbacks have come into the NFL with less experience and done very well. The best example of this would be Cam Newton, who seems like the kind of guy who is built to break this system. He started only one year of Division I ball and looked like a huge risk, then put together one of the best rookie quarterback seasons in NFL history. Aaron Rodgers is another player who was underrated by the system; given the success of Newton and Rodgers, perhaps we need to consider adding junior college experience to the variable for collegiate games started."

Cam Newton's been great with just one year of experience...but Mark Sanchez only started one season and look how that turned out.

This is GREAT analysis, thank you for the link.

I remember they published a chart but I think it's in their book from that year which I have in hardcopy and not PDF. It makes sense too- the more games you've started, the more you've seen from a defense. Plus NFL teams have more tape (and can therefore make more informed decisions). This is part of why I really hope Cleveland is dumb enough to take Mitch Trubisky.

Don't blame the TSL reporter. Evans is looking into it. And will go if he hears what he needs to hear.

Ok, as long as he is waiting on a NFL grade response. If he's a top 2 round pick, wish him the best and look to Jackson.

The concern is him turning pro to be at 6-UDFA. Nobody wants that.

There is no downside to filing the paperwork, right? If the NFL grades him " wait till next year" I hope he takes their advice. But I see no harm in asking the question.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I hope this isn't some form of foreshadowing :( wish him the best for him regardless!

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

If Evans goes pro, he'll get drafted. His production, combine numbers, and character/charisma will ensure that.

If a team is going to draft him early enough to get him a significant rookie contract, he'll need to stick around another year to show teams he's capable of leading an NFL offense. He has had very little success in the intermediate passing game. His success in the short game comes from pre-snap reads (determined by alignment pre-snap) and his success in the deep game comes from favorable athletic matchups on vertical routes.

Fuente kept his passing attack simple this year and got the absolute most out of his QB and athletic wide receivers because of it. Fuente did an excellent job preparing Evans to win ACC games, not NFL games.

Evans isn't ready.

He has very little success in the intermediate passing game. His success in the short game comes from pre-snap reads (determined by alignment pre-snap, not post-snap defensive reads). His success in the deep game comes from favorable athletic matchups on vertical routes.

Yep, I expressed these thoughts in another thread. However, he isn't the exception in this area, this is the most common knock on all productive QB's coming out of spread offenses. Deshaun will be subjected to these same criticisms. Their offense is designed with tons of easy short throws, deep throws that take advantage of one on one matchups, and RPO's where he is usually throwing to someone totally uncovered or has separated from one on one coverage. That said, they are not the same category of player, that's not what I'm saying. Deshaun is much better at keeping his eyes downfield and creating when a play breaks down with more than just his legs.

Well put. But I'm not sure he gets a combine invite if he declares. Much less gets drafted. I love Jerod and he'll always be a Hokie. But I don't understand how he thinks this is in his best interest. He has everything to gain by coming back next season.

"...When we step on that field, they bleed like we bleed and we're gonna show the world."
-Corey Marshall

Exactly. He'll get drafted because the NFL is desperate for QBs. If he goes now, his outcome is a mid to late round flyer to see how he develops. And if he doesn't show anything early, he's probably out of the league within 2 years. But if he stays one more year under Fuente's guidance, he can probably boost his stock to potentially a 1st round pick and most certainly a Day 2 pick (2nd/3rd round). That gives him not only cash but extra time in the league because more teams are willing to take chances on high picks if they don't work out at their first stop. Whatever he does, I wish him the best but going now is the far riskier path.

Disagree. I think he goes undrafted. His main strengths (size, mobility) right now mean little to the NFL when combined with his main weaknesses (well below avg downfield NFL arm strength, rudimentary pocket skills).

Nevertheless I also think this is much ado about nothing. Evans would have to be completely deaf and blind to come out -- and he doesn't strike me as an unintelligent kid at all.

I disagree on arm strength. He's got plenty. Seems to me he lacks timing/accuracy on the deep ball. He's overthrown as much as underthrown.

Malik Zaire, David Cornwell, Jarrett Stidham and a couple of other talented QBs are looking for homes...obviously nobody knows how talented Josh Jackson is except for the players and the coaching staff but it's unfair to expect a redshirt freshman to be QB1 next fall with a true freshman backing him up. Expect another transfer quarterback this spring if Evans decides to leave.

Stidham's at Auburn.

Damn I didn't see that.

That's what they were saying about Matt Saracen too....

Rip his freaking head off!

How fun would it be for Cornwell to come here after all of that hoopla a couple years ago where we thought we actually had a shot at him.

I bet Zaire is interested. He saw this offense firsthand. Reports earlier in the week were that he held off on a decision to get a read on Trubisky's decision. Now he can watch Evans decision as well.

unfair to expect a redshirt freshman to be QB1 next fall

But Mike Vick, though /s

The Dude Abides

Excellent gif use, +1

After the season he had he would be dumb not to at least gauge where he would stand in this year's draft. Personally I think Jerod has a great NFL future... starting next year.

Aside from what others discussed regarding where he could improve, I think there's an X factor here too. There's a reality that he just isn't that well known on the national stage for whatever reason. At the same time it feels inevitable that he ends up on a number of preseason hype articles. A season in the limelight will do wonders for his draft stock.

What about Jack Click???

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Click is destined to be the career 3rd wheel guy.

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

So he's going to marry the first wheel's sister?

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

She belongs with Harry

Semper Fi

But Harry met Sally and that's thrown a wrench in everything!

He said give to me Roscoe

Hmmm gotta wonder if Lawson will transfer now

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate

He can certainly compete for the job if he transfers bak.

Damn, it will suck losing 2 of our QB's to the draft.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

I love that we keep our spirits up in these trying times.

Here is your riddle for the day. You older guys should eat this up. Hint: If Jerod goes this year this is where i believe he ends up.

And Peggi Lipton was so fine!

Click for President

He's going to end up in a bad 70's tv show with an afro?

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

It's "solid."

http://m.roanoke.com/sports/colleges/va_tech/source-virginia-tech-quarte...

But major changes could be coming. A source close to the team said Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans is leaning toward entering the NFL Draft. Evans set school records with 4,392 total yards and 41 touchdowns accounted for in his only season in Blacksburg.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Well wish he stayed , he is the one player that has the most to gain by staying. If he does go I'm sure he has his reasons and will get all my support as another HOKIE in the NFL.

LOL his source is the above twitter post. yea to spread rumors. It was obvious that he would want to see where he would get rated. Submitting for evaluation vice leaning towards draft regardless of status are two different things.

I guess one thing to consider re: Evans is that he has been on campus less than a year, thus his connection to VT and his fellow teammates is probably a bit weaker than players that came to Tech as freshmen. One less thing pulling him in the direction of staying. Just a thought.

Losing two of his best wide outs (if Ford declares) will certainly hurt trying to come close to his record setting numbers

The Dude Abides

It's a weak draft for QB's this year. I think jerod's stock could go up a lot after interviews and the combine. He has the size, arm and intangibles that the NFL looks for. However he we still be seen as a project rather than a day 1 starter. He'd probably be a 3rd day pick. A team with an established QB would be the best place for him to land.

All that said, I think he still has a lot he can learn at VT. Fuente prepared Andy dalton and Paxton lynch for the NFL so I'm sure coach we lead jerod in the right direction.

If jerod does decide to leave I can't blame the guy. He can learn on the job and make money rather than working for free and risking injury.

I thank him for how he represented VT and wish him success wherever he's playing next year. I hope it's for us!

Stick it in! Stick it in!

#sauces.... this is all bs to get a beat writer some airtime. dont buy it

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them." - Lee Corso

If that's the case why are multiple best writers being told this? Why are bloggers and website guys being told this by the source?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Hey Fireman, can you help me out? I need convincing that there is an actual source speaking to multiple beat writers, and that said source isn't just the Ricky LaBlue tweet. Have other writers claimed to have actually communicated with this insider?

For example, I could now with confidence and honesty write "a source close to the team said" without ever haven spoken to or received info from any source.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

It's a single person (source) that is telling multiple people this. Beat writers in their stories say "a source close to the team says" NOT "Hokie website writer Ricky LaBlue says" they have talked to the source themselves. Now the question could be asked is the single source wrong? Maybe but to say it's a fake story to get Ricky face and airtime is just false.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

because in todays social media its easy to cling on and copy. this came from someone very very close to jerod.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them." - Lee Corso

The question is will Evans really develop NFL skills in Fuente's system - I think we heard he runs a one read system and while drafted high, Paxton Lynch did nothing this year.

He was selected in the 1st round and signed a deal for $7,884,074 in guaranteed money :) If your goal is to get paid, that's not too bad.

Lynch also was a 3 year starter.

I just want to throw a possibility out there. I've heard multiple variations on this story here in the 'Burg. One of the things we all noticed was how "quietly" Jerod's excellent performance this season unfolded, compared to those with Heisman Hype Machines. Jackson and Watson were good, but so was Evans.

Between his comments post-BelkBowlBaconBurning, his subsequent tweet about being back on the field the next day, and the beat reporter's Tweet about his leaning toward the NFL...

I'm sort of the mindset that this is the beginning of the "Jerod For Heisman" campaign for the 2017 season. Get noticed, create the stir, and plant the seeds for being QB1 in the 2018 Draft. He's a smart kid by all accounts, and we know he believes in himself and his abilities - that's part of why he came to VT. I have a hard time believing that he doesn't know exactly what parts of his game he needs to improve on. He gets to practice against a defense with more than one NFL-caliber player every day. Whether that's served best at VT, or as a potential draftee / undrafted FA on an NFL practice squad, I guess that's why we're having this discussion.

Just throwing it out there. Today's PR and Media machine is relentless..

And no surprise there, it's Wally Lancaster with an airball that looked gorgeous on its way to nowhere...
2/15/89, VT vs. South Carolina...

Lee

When he wins 15 games next year he will get the heisman methinks...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

He'd only have the opportunity to win 13 before the award, but yeah.

Yeah I like the way you think. I'm going to keep my eye on you Mr. Helper.

Click for President

I don't know if you coined the phrase

BelkBowlBaconBurning

but it's beautiful

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

Not to throw water on your theory, because I like it, but it was pointed out to me that he went to HS in Mansfield, and his "back in the field" tweet closely followed his great to finally go home tweet.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

I know it seems a little too soon for him to declare, but this might just be a result of the QB classes. This year's class is looking thin, right off the top of your head, who will be the first QB taken? I couldn't come up with a name either. The NFL is always QB hungry. Remember Christian Ponder going in the first round? If he waits another year he has Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson in his class, now he could very well light up the NCAA next season and beat out one of them, but this year the competition is thin.

Edit: I am behind on news. Either way the names being tossed around at the top of the draft class were Mitch Trubisky and Brad Kaaya. If I am Evans I like my chances against them.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I thought I read in multiple places that Watson was going pro... no?

Watson is in this class

We all just want to know how we stack up. He's just filing for Intel purposes only. Nothing to see here.

However, I do like the creating a buzz theory, to set the table for next year.

Leonard. Duh.

Hadn't seen this mentioned anywhere, but had any of us heard of Jerod Evans a year ago (1/1/16)? Yes we were very fortunate to land him and yes, he probably exceeded most projections of how his first year of FBS football would go. But my point is it's a long way to next season and CJF knows what he is doing. Wonderful things are in store that we don't yet even know about! (No particular #sauces, just optimism)

He committed on 12/12/15, so....yeah.

But your point may be that we need to trust in Fuente to fill all the holes on O as Bud always does on D.

I think it was the UVA game in 2015 where Zaire went down with a fractured ankle? The sad UVA fan game

@VTimHokie85

Which one was that? They've all been pretty sad.

Before it became cool for LOLuva fans to pretend to have hopes of winning football games.

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

Left this in the other Evans thread but wanted to share here too:

--------

Another thing regarding Evans' quick trigger to run:

It masks somewhat another weakness in his game: he doesn't exactly have what I would call a "dual-threat" first step. Some of the best DTQBs of the last several years are truly dual-threat because they can go through their progressions and then beat a defense with a burst of quickness.

Our guy Evans doesn't have that. Now, once he gets going downhill and gets that big body going, I'll take the Pepsi Challenge with him vs most any DB you can name. But I never watch him and think "Man, that first step. He's so quick." I really think his success rushing the ball has been due to his ability to beat defenses to the punch by pulling it down and running so early in the play.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.