Chicago Bears training camp battle: Darrynton Evans vs Trestan Ebner
We know that David Montgomery is the starting running back for the Chicago Bears, and we know that Khalil Herbert will be right behind him on the pecking order. However, something to look for at training camp in 2022 will be the battle for the third running back spot.
When the Chicago Bears claimed Darrynton Evans off of waivers, he immediately became the leader In the clubhouse to win the job. However, drafting Trestan Ebner in round seven showed that they want the two to compete for this role.
The role will mostly be the change of pace running back, and return game, and that is where both look to find roles in the NFL. Which player has the edge entering training camp?
College Production and Draft Pedigree
While Darrynton Evans came out two years before Ebner, they are not far apart in age, mainly because Evans declare early due to the pandemic while Ebner got an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
At Appalachian State, Evans had 521 total touches, mostly coming from 482 carries. On the flip side, Ebner had 470 total touches at Baylor, and that was 343 carries.
Ebner caught 88 more passes in his college career, and that led to him averaging 6.8 yards from scrimmage, compared to 6.1 for Evans. Still, Evans did average 6 yards per rush, and had 2,884 rushing yards while Ebner was at 1,690 yards rushing, and 4.9 yards per rush.
Playerprofiler.com provides advanced stats that can put the offense these teams played into more context.
For instance, the dominator rating shows that 31.5% of the App State offense went through Evans, while Ebner was at 13.1.%. Still, Ebner was at 10.4% of the Baylor target share, while Evans was at 7.6%.
This is an edge to Ebner, but the raw difference shows that Baylor passed a lot more often than App State.
Overall, it is easy to look at Evans and say that he was a productive running back who has receiving game upside. Meanwhile, Ebner was is a passing game threat who almost leans too much on that value, and not enough on his ability to get respect between the tackles.
That is probably why a team took a shot on Evans in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft, while Ebner fell to the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Of course, Evans has played in the NFL for two seasons, and while injuries held him back, he has just 16 rushes for 61 yards, and four catches for 38 yards. More than, Ebner, but that may not be something he is bragging about.