Titans draft Appalachian State RB Evans, LSU CB Fulton

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have drafted Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans in the third round as a back for the NFL’s rushing leader Derrick Henry.

The Titans now have used two of their first three draft selections on offense, adding Evans with the No. 93 overall pick after taking offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson at No. 29 in the first round and cornerback Kristian Fulton of LSU at No. 61 overall in the second.

Fulton sat out the 2017 season and served about 18 months of an NCAA suspension for tampering with a drug-test by allegedly substituting someone else’s urine sample for his own. He returned for the 2018 season, and the 6-foot cornerback started all 15 games and broke up a team-high 14 passes as LSU won the national championship this season.

Evans was the Sun Belt Conference’s offensive player of the year for 2019 averaging 5.8 yards per carry after rushing for 1,480 yards and 18 touchdowns. Evans also is a kick returner, having averaged 25.7 yards per return in three seasons scoring a touchdown in each season.

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The Titans already drafted Wilson at No. 29 overall Thursday night to be their new right tackle. They also have the No. 93 selection in the third round and four more picks on Saturday, though none in the fourth or sixth rounds. They still need more depth at cornerback along with wide receiver, quarterback and kicker.

Tennessee has defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, the No. 19 pick overall a year ago, ready to replace five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey who was traded to Denver last month for a seventh-round pick.

Fulton will have a chance to replace cornerback Logan Ryan, who started every game he played the past three seasons and led the NFL in tackles this postseason. He became a free agent in March and has yet to sign with anyone.

“Let’s Geaux!!! Excited to join the Squad @Titans ! More motivated than ever and ready to work!” Fulton wrote on social media.

Fulton was timed at 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and he also had one interception for the national champs as a senior. He has allowed quarterbacks to complete about 40% of passes against him since 2018.

The Titans went 9-7 for a fourth straight season on their way to the AFC championship game in Kansas City. But they have room for improvement on a defense that finished 21st giving up 359.5 yards per game and 24th against the pass (255 yards per game). Tennessee ranked 12th allowing 20.7 points a game but was next to last allowing touchdowns inside the 20.

Tennessee signed outside linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. to a one-year deal in March, hoping coach Mike Vrabel and linebackers coach Shane Bowen can help him return to the All-Pro form he showed in 2016 leading the NFL with 15 1/2 sacks. The Titans also brought back linebacker Kamalei Correa and signed defensive lineman Jack Crawford on one-year deals.

Coming off the 35-24 loss in the AFC championship game, Robinson already made sure to keep the core of the offense together of a team that made a postseason run on the road through New England and Baltimore to Kansas City.

He signed Tannehill, the AP NFL comeback player of the year and last season’s passer rating leader, to a four-year deal before free agency started. Robinson also tagged Henry as the Titans’ franchise player coming off his history-making run as the first running back to run for at least 180 yards in three straight games in that postseason run.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker

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