Buccaneers, Round 1. Was a redshirt sophomore.
Positives: Great height and bulk for the position – H-back size. Above-average hand size. Great wingspan. Very physical wide receiver with good hands. Tracks passes over his inside shoulder very well. Runs above-average routes and uses his physicality well for positioning and boxing out defenders. Comes back to help quarterback when scrambling. Has strong hands and an overall strong body. Shows good body control and adjusts well to off-target passes. Should be very effective and difficult to cover in the red zone. Adequate track speed for the position, but above-average for his size. Above-average vertical leap.
Negatives: Hands aren’t great in wet conditions, and he will also let some passes get to his body. Doesn’t get much separation on his routes, and puts himself in a position where he has to outmuscle defenders instead of making a clean catch. Seems to be a bit of a hothead when a play doesn’t go his way. Below-average upper body strength. Below-average lateral quickness and ability to change directions in Combine testing.
Projection: In one of the most obvious matches in the draft, he went to the Buccaneers at pick 7 to pair with his clone, Vincent Jackson. Is also very similar to Alshon Jeffery, the Bears WR, with his size, physicality, hands, lack of separation skills – and his personality. His drafting by the Bucs gives them a pair of WRs a whole lot like the Bears duo of Jeffery and Marshall, and I expect Evans to have a similar level of success in a similar amount of time. He also becomes an obvious replacement for Jackson when he’s gone, since Jackson’s already 31. Draft as an immediate WR2 with WR1 upside.