We live in a world where speed kills and size matters. This could not be truer for the National Football League. Scouts are constantly clicking their stopwatches. Tape measures are always in back pockets. Forty times speak volumes. Height and a nice wingspan amount to dollar signs. The Wide Receiver position demands at least one of these two traits. A WR who displays speed and size like Mike Evans ensures star potential.
Mike Evans is a (RS) sophomore wide receiver from Texas A&M. After two seasons, Evans declared for the 2014 NFL Draft. Standing at 6’5”, he towers over corner backs. Weighing in at 231 pounds you better bring it on every tackle. Mike Evans put on a freak show at A&M. He was Johnny Manziel’s prime target, racking up multiple school records. When he wasn’t out-running the defense he was jumping over top of them. Countless times, Evans bailed out “Johnny Football” creating a YouTube highlight reel. This is a receiver who will blow up press coverage. A player who was originally recruited for basketball, he can also box out defenders in the end zone.
Mike Evans displays raw talent. His weaknesses result from a lack of experience. Scouts will argue he lacks elite speed. Evans would have preferred to run faster than 4.53 at the combine. Considering his size and frame, the majority of teams will gladly accept his time. His biggest flaw is route running. This is a skill set that could be greatly improved given a patient coaching staff. Prior to playing two years in NCAA, he had only played one season of high school football. When you consider what Evans has showed after only three years… imagine the possibilities.
Collegiate Career[ad id=”Ad1″]
After two years of showing his skill, Evans decided to move to the next level. Week in, week out, Mike Evans produced. Starting in all 26 games, Evans showed he was a reliable factor. In his freshman season he was named 1st Team All-Freshman. He was able to lead his team in catches (82) as well as receiving yards (1,105). In three games he racked up 100+ yards receiving. In 2013 he put all sophomore slump questions to rest. Evans earned 1st Team All-SEC as well as 1st Team All-American honors. School records fell after he accumulated 1,394 yards in a season as well as 279 yards in a single game. Five different times, he accounted for 100+ receiving yards in a single game. Impressively, Evans averaged 20.2 yards per catch. Not only did he perform on an elite level overall, but he starred in the biggest games. Against Alabama he had 7 receptions for 279 yards as well as a 95 yard touchdown. Facing Auburn, Evans added 11 receptions for 287 yards as well as an amazing 4 touchdowns to his resume. In just two seasons, Mike Evans finished his career with a total of 151 receptions, 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns.
All eyes were on the wide receiver at the 2014 combine. Evans neither hurt nor helped his stock. Proving to be what everyone thought, his numbers were expected. A bit stiff in the 40, a 4.53 was not disappointing. Displaying a 37” vertical managed to make scouts take a second look. Given his issues with the route tree, Evans did not partake in every route. His combine stats were as follows:
- 4.53 40 yard dash
- 12 reps bench press
- 37” vertical
- 7.08 3 cone drill
- 4.26 20 yard shuttle
- 11.58 60 yard shuttle
There will always be a demand for tall wide receivers that can make big plays. When you think of top tier WRs you think of players such as Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, or Demaryius Thomas. All of whom are at least 6’2” or taller. An NFL player that resembles Mike Evans would be Vincent Jackson at 6’5” and 230 pounds. He’s a WR who uses his height to his advantage. Jackson is a big WR who is surprisingly quick and abuses smaller DBs.
There is no way Evans slips out of the top ten in the upcoming draft. If by chance he does, many teams will be calling other war rooms to trade up. His best fit would be to land on a team that already possesses an established WR. Imagine the Lions calling Evans’ name with the tenth pick. Who better to learn from than “Megatron” himself? This would allow Evans to constantly face single coverage resulting in great fantasy numbers as a rookie. Sammy Watkins is the most polished WR in the upcoming draft, but it is possible Evans will produce greater numbers.
Evans could be the next rookie WR to produce 1,000+ yards in a season. If you are playing in a PPR league, make sure Evans is on your watch list. QBs will be sure to target him. With the ability to leap and box out, he will make a prime target in the end zone. After playing every game in college, there is no need to worry about injuries. There is no reason why Evans will not continue to grow once he enters the NFL.[ad id=”Ad2″]