In a draft top-heavy at the receiver position, 6-foot-5, 225 pound former Texas A&M star Mike Evans easily packs the greatest wallop.
That all translates into Evans’ possessing a style all of his own, one that easily separates him from the likes of speed-reliant contemporaries Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee and crowns him as this year’s draft’s most physical and durable flanker.
Indeed, there was a reason Aggies’ quarterback Johnny Manziel seemed to zero in on Evans with his famed, improvised passes as much as all his other options combined over the last two seasons.
“He is the best in the class at winning at the catch point and is very adept at working back toward the quarterback,” Rotoworld’s Josh Norris says in his scouting report of Evans. “His yards after the catch are also under an under discussed skill.”
A former Texas two-sport high school star, Evans exploited his mix of sheer athleticism and firm hands to the point of becoming an all-SEC performer and one of A&M’s most accomplished all-time wideouts.
“Mike was one of the hardest workers in whatever he was doing, and it paid off for him on the field” said A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin. “I think one of the highest compliments you can say about Mike is that he plays hard even when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands.”
All that hard work paid off to the tune of 147 catches and 17 touchdowns over a two-season stretch during which time he and Manziel formed the core components to one of the nation’s most lethal offenses.
ESPN’s Todd McShay projects Evans won’t slip beyond the 16th pick to the Ravens, now desperate to add a red zone target for quarterback Joe Flacco and an offense that struggled so mightily this season they failed to reach the playoffs a year after hoisting the Super Bowl trophy.
“If you watch Alshon Jeffery play for the Bears this season, you’ll get an idea of what makes Evans so intriguing,” McShay wrote. “A former basketball player who has improved throughout his two seasons at Texas A&M, Evans has strong hands and is tough to beat in jump-ball situations.”
Evans has also been prominently mentioned as a potential first-round option for the Steelers, Raiders, Rams, Seahawks, Chiefs and Panthers.