DraftRams. The Home for everything involving the Rams Draft.
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Intro: Coming out of Galveston, Texas, Mike Evans only played one year of high school football. He was a 3 star recruit who considered Tulane, Colorado State and Texas A&M before deciding to move down to College Station. He became Johnny Manziel’s most reliable target, leading the Aggies in both receptions and receiving yards in both years that he played.
Early Career/Statistics: As a redshirt freshman, Mike Evans quickly made a name for himself as he led the Aggies in receptions and receiving yards. Evans rapidly climbed draft boards as a redshirt sophomore with another monster campaign. He completed the his 2013 season catching 69 passes for 1394 yards and recording 12 touchdowns.
Size: 6’5, 225 lbs
Traits: Mike Evans often played as a flanker at Texas A&M and projects best as a possession receiver in the NFL. He is incredibly talented, but he is also very raw. Evans excels at using his height and strength to outmuscle his opponent and create separation. He is fearless in traffic and is tough to bring down once he has the ball in his hand. Watch him in this next video as he fights for yardage like a power running back.
Evans is also a great run blocker. He allows his running backs and Quarterback to run to his side worrying about the cornerback.
Mike Evans needs to become more aggressive when being contested by a defensive back. Despite having great size, he loses the fight for too many jump balls. This is one of the areas where he will have to improve to solidify his role as a possession receiver. The following videos illustrate how cornerbacks have been able to dislodge the ball out of Evans’ hands before he can come down with it.
Mike Evans is not particularly fast. He is projected to run a 40 yard dash somewhere in between a 4.5 and 4.6 seconds. Once he gets going, he is tough to bring down. Evans’ size allows him to take longer than normal strides which can cause defensive backs to take poor angles. Watch him in this next video, as strides to the outside and eludes two defensive backs for a touchdown.
Mike Evans is incredibly raw when it comes to route running. He is a great athlete, but has a long way to go towards mastering his craft at wide receiver. He will likely have problems getting separation in the NFL without being flagged for offensive pass interference. He has also struggled with some concentration issues from time to time.
Overall: It is difficult to project how Mike Evans will transition to the NFL. He has great athletic upside, but he is incredibly raw as well. His size and physicality are excellent, but his speed, route running and separation skills are lacking. He projects as an early 2nd round talent, but his rare height will undoubtedly land him somewhere in the middle of the 1st round.He will be a physically imposing talent who will need some time to watch from the sidelines and further transition from an athlete to a receiver, similar to Brian Quick, but once he fully transitions into the NFL and reaches his potential, he could draw comparisons to Anquan Boldin or Vincent Jackson.
Fit with the Rams: The Rams don’t just need any wide receiver, they need a true number one. As talented as Evans is, he projects to be more of a possession receiver than the true X type that the team needs. Les Snead hand picked Brian Quick as his project receiver and has no plans of giving up on him anytime soon. Being that Evans would fit the same mold of a raw possession receiver, he is less than an ideal fit. As a team in need of a true number one who is pro ready, the Rams can find a much better fit in this draft than Mike Evans.