Chris Evans picked by Cincinnati Bengals in sixth round of 2021 NFL draft: 'He's a steal'

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Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press
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Chris Evans is going to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The former Michigan football running back was taken in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft with the No. 202 overall pick by the Bengals on Saturday.

Evans is the seventh Wolverine to be drafted, joining Kwity Paye, Jalen Mayfield, Nico Collins, Ambry Thomas, Cameron McGrone and Ben Mason.

"He's going to be a sixth-round steal when it's all said and done," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said after the pick. "He's 5-11, 215 pounds. He runs a 4.50, which is a very respectable time in the 40-yard dash. He's an instinctive inside runner and has quick feet in and out of the whole. What I love about him is he can catch the football. He is so smooth and active catching the ball and transitioning up the field. They actually started him at slot receiver earlier in his career. He brings that versatility. I don't know what happened this past year. I don't know how in the world he only gets 16 carries, but Chris Evans is going to be a steal when it's all said and done."

The former four-star recruit was at Michigan between 2016-20 and sat out the 2019 season due to a suspension. Last season, Evans tallied 16 carries for 73 yards and nine catches for 87 yards. His best year was 2017, when he had 135 carries for 685 yards and six touchdowns, and caught 16 passes for 157 yards and one touchdown. He finished his career with 320 carries for 1,795 yards and 15 touchdowns, with 49 catches for 479 yards and two scores.

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Michigan running back Chris Evans runs against Penn State safety Lamont Wade during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.
Michigan running back Chris Evans runs against Penn State safety Lamont Wade during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.

At Michigan, Evans was the top receiving back and, toward the end of the 2020 season, was used exclusively as a pass-catcher and not a runner. That could be how he finds his way onto Cincinnati's roster, after Giovanni Bernard departed in free agency. Their starting running back is Joe Mixon.

Free Press special writer Brandon Folsom contributed to this report.

Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang. Read more on the Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Chris Evans picked by Cincinnati Bengals in Round 6: 'He's a steal'