Jerod Evans watched as Dak Prescott surprised everyone, including the Cowboys, last season. Prescott proved that it doesn’t matter when a player is drafted.

Despite being a fourth-round choice, Prescott arguably had the best rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history.

“To come in in the fourth round, Dak has blown it up,” Evans said. “I keep hearing the comparisons. It’s an honor to get compared to someone who’s doing so great in the league, especially as a rookie, but he didn’t start [low-round picks making good]. It was definitely started way before him.”

Evans, a Mansfield product, pointed out Tom Brady’s journey from sixth-round draft pick to a five-time Super Bowl champion.

Evans projects as a fifth- or sixth-round choice after quarterbacking Virginia Tech for one season. CBS draft analyst Dane Brugler ranks Evans as the eighth-best player at his position.

“He would have benefited from returning for his senior season,” Brugler said. “But Evans is the type of competitor comfortable betting on himself. He checks boxes for his size [6-foot-3, 232 pounds], athleticism and arm strength, but the mental conversion from what he was asked to do in college to what is expected of quarterbacks in the NFL is a considerable leap. Although he might be able to mask his inconsistent footwork and mechanics as a pro, his erratic accuracy and decision-making are the two main reasons he won’t see the field early in his career.

“Overall, Evans is wired right for the NFL game and he has an intriguing ceiling once coached up. But it will require a patient coaching staff. A possible down-the-line starter who might not give the job back once he gets on the field.”

Evans has taken a winding road from Mansfield to the NFL. He spent two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College after leaving the Air Force Academy. Evans then became Justin Fuentes’ first commit to the Hokies after Fuentes left Memphis.