Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans NFL Draft 2014: Scouting Report Breakdown for Tampa Bay Bucs WR

Oct 26, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second half at Kyle Field. Texas A&M won 56-24. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2014

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (HT: 6'4¾", 231 lbs)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

First Round: Seventh Pick

NFL Comparison: Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

 

Highlights

 

Overall Strengths

+ Elite size, strength and leaping ability, making him an ideal possession receiver. 

+ Excels in jump-ball situations. 

+ Strong, reliable hands.

+ Runs hard after the catch and pick up chunks of yardage. 

 

Overall Weaknesses

- Limited route-running experience.

- Average acceleration and agility. 

- Still developing blocking technique.  

Combine Weigh-In
HeightWeightArmsHands
604623135 1/8"9 5/8"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-Yard Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle
4.531.5737.0"DNP7.084.26
NFL.com

 

Character/Intangibles

Evans is a passionate player on the field and can become openly frustrated and let it affect his play. Most notably, he was called for two personal fouls in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl which noticeably affected his concentration throughout the first half.  

 

Jump-Ball Situations

A lethal combination of size and leaping ability makes Evans a dangerous weapon in jump-ball situations. There simply aren't many defensive backs capable of beating Evans when he is able to high-point the football. 

Evans does a great job putting himself in position before the ball arrives, essentially boxing out the defender. He then shows the ability to time his jumps perfectly, giving defensive backs almost no chance to disrupt his ability to pluck the ball from the air. 

 

Adjusting to the Ball/Working the Sideline

Evans isn't great in jump-ball situations solely because of his size. He also shows elite body control when adjusting to poorly thrown balls—a part of the game in which he's had plenty of practice thanks to Johnny Manziel's tendency to throw the ball up for grabs. 

While many receivers are capable of coming down with the jump ball, they often lose control in the air and land in awkward positions. Evans, however, is consistently able to come down with the ball and land in a position to make a move down the field.

He's also always aware of the sideline and consistently puts himself in position to come down with the ball and keep his feet in bounds. 

The first two plays from his 2013 game against Alabama show his ability to work the sideline and maintain control:

 

After the Catch

Evans won't often make defensive backs miss in the open field, but he runs hard and is capable of breaking some tackles. He is also blazing fast for a receiver of his size and capable of taking it the distance if given a running lane. 

Most 6'5" receivers don't get many opportunities on screen passes, but Texas A&M frequently called these plays for Evans. He took one to the house against Auburn this past season:

 

Blocking

While this isn't a strength of Evans' game right now, he has the potential to develop his blocking skills. He's a passionate player, and those types of guys can often be groomed into great blockers—especially when they're blessed with Evans' size and strength. 

He tends to lunge at defensive backs too often and needs to remain a little more patient so that he can get into the body of the smaller defenders and lock onto them. 

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