Mel Kiper Jr. believes Chris Evans, Ben Mason capable of landing on NFL rosters
When the NFL Draft rolls around next month, there’s an expectation that several former Michigan players will hear their names called at some point. It’s become a consistent trend under head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Two players who might be teetering between a late-round status and going undrafted in April are running back Chris Evans and fullback Ben Mason. Both players showed flashes of NFL ability during their time in Ann Arbor, but aren’t receiving the same grades as others.
So, what does ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. think? He says both are capable of making a roster at the professional level.
“When he was out there, you saw signs of maybe he could be a guy who could help a football team as a two, three, not the lead guy but maybe a backup third guy, have him on your roster,” Kiper said of Evans, according to Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News. “I still think he can do that. …I think he can make a football team.”
Kiper believes Evans would be a late-round selection or be called as a priority free agent.
After missing the 2019 season, Evans returned to the team in 2020, but totaled just 73 rushing yards and 87 receiving yards and scored 1 touchdown for the Wolverines. He touched the ball only 25 times in six games.
In his career at Michigan, Evans rushed for 1,795 yards added 479 receiving yards and scored 17 total touchdowns.
For Mason, Kiper says the former Wolverine is the best pure fullback available in the draft. The problem? There aren’t many NFL teams using or in need of a player at that position. Still, he thinks Mason could carve out a spot for himself in the league.
“Ben Mason is the throwback,” Kiper said. “He’s the fullback that teams don’t necessarily use anymore. Some do, but he’s the best pure fullback.
“In terms of blocking and doing the things there to help your football team, help your running back, in the right system, yeah, I’d take Ben Mason. If you’re looking for the traditional, old-school, throwback fullback, it would be certainly Ben Mason.”
The 2021 NFL Draft is schedule for April 29-May 1.