It’s a relative rarity for Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel to single out an individual player for praise, even when he’s directly asked about a player.

For second-year RB Darrynton Evans, Vrabel made an exception.

“Darrynton is one of those players that we’re excited about,” Vrabel said.

It’s a good thing the Titans are excited to get Evans more involved in the offense, because they’ll need him in 2021.

Due to salary cap constraints, the Titans lost WR Corey Davis (Jets) and TE Jonnu Smith (Patriots) in free agency. The team also released WR Adam Humphries, who signed with the Washington Football Team.

Even with the team’s recent blockbuster addition of Julio Jones, the Titans will still need a speedy, explosive threat who can make big plays with the ball in the open field.

That’s where Evans enters the picture.

He’s not going to directly replace Davis, Smith or Humphries, but he can serve as a key weapon for the Titans’ offense to soften a lot of the blow of those players’ departures along with Jones.

As a rookie in 2020, Evans didn’t do very much for the Titans. He did score a touchdown late in the team’s blowout win against the Detroit Lions, but injuries essentially derailed the entirety of Evans’ rookie year.

Heading into 2021, though, Evans is fully healthy and has a year of studying the playbook under his belt. Barring an unforeseen setback, he should get plenty of opportunities to contribute in 2021.

One sign pointing to that is the fact that, during the first practice of OTAs that was open to the media, Evans performed drills at wide receiver in addition to working as a running back.

While the Titans aren’t going to move Evans to receiver, it could mean that the second-year tailback will get some snaps out wide during the season.

Coming out of App State in the 2020 draft, Evans was hailed as a speedy, versatile playmaker who can serve as a sparkplug for an offense.

He should get the chance to be just that for the Titans in 2021, and it would be a really big boost for the team if he comes through.

Cover image: Mark Humphrey/USA Today