After months of buildup, speculation and countless mock drafts, the first round of the NFL Draft wrapped up Thursday evening, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans with the seventh overall pick.
The Bucs were widely believed to be the landing spot for Evans since trading receiver Mike Williams to Buffalo in early April, and Thursday night the team made it official, choosing the physically imposing Evans (6'5", 231 pounds) over speedier options like Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks.
By drafting Evans, the Bucs are able to pair him with Vincent Jackson (6'5", 230 pounds) to instantly upgrade their aerial assault and give Tampa Bay "Twin Towers," as general manager Jason Licht told the media following the pick.
Evans fills an immediate need for the Bucs, who lacked a No. 2 option opposite Jackson following the Williams trade to Buffalo, but prior to Thursday's draft festivities, many Bucs fans and local media expressed their beliefs that the team should select someone capable of stretching the field opposite Jackson.
Instead, Licht and head coach Lovie Smith opted to give veteran quarterback Josh McCown a pair of big, athletic receivers to throw to, which provides a different kind of matchup nightmare for opposing defenses to contend with.
And by the looks of it, Evans' selection is being met with approval by his new teammates:
@MikeEvans13_ congrats bro lets go get this championship!— Johnthan Banks (@JBanks_27) May 9, 2014
And even by a few of the local media, too:
6-5 VJ and 6-5 mike Evans--Bucs 1st Round pick tonite! Big big targets! Go Bucs!— Gene Deckerhoff (@gened01) May 9, 2014
The more I think about it, the more I believe Mike Evans can be a star in the NFL...if he has someone to throw him the ball. #Bucs— Justin Pawlowski (@CommishOnline) May 9, 2014
The Bucs will officially introduce Evans at a press conference Friday afternoon at One Buccaneer Place. The press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST and can be seen on Buccaneers.com.
J.J. Rodriguez can be reached via email at BRJJRodriguez@gmail.com