Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans is widely considered as the second best receiver in the draft behind Sammy Watkins.
The New York Giants, who have the 12th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, were present at Mike Evans’ pro day, in which he performed exceptionally. Big Blue is in need of a receiver to replace Hakeem Nicks, and Evans might be just what they are looking for.
Mike Evans is a monster on the field, measuring in at 6’5″ and 235 pounds, and with an arm length of almost three feet he is definitely an intimidating figure for any NFL defender.
In his career at Texas A&M, Evans established himself as one of the best receivers in all of college football. Evans was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (which is given to the best receiver in college football), was named First Team All-American, received First Team All-SEC honors, and broke multiple school records. There is no denying that Evans excelled at the collegiate level, and many believe he will have no problem transitioning to the professional level.
Mike Evans’ Strengths
The first, most obvious strength that Mike Evans’ possesses is his incredible size and strength. Evans is as tall and as heavy as Pro-Bowl receiver Calvin Johnson, who is often recognized for his large body frame on the field. Mike Evans will be able to use his height and weight to his advantage on the field, dominating smaller defenders on the line of scrimmage and while fighting for the ball. The Aggie’s size makes him a prime redzone target, something the Giants are in desperate need of.
Mike Evans also possesses one of the most important qualities a wide receiver should have: sticky hands. In his career at Texas A&M we rarely saw Evans drop the football, a trait which made him a reliable and favorite target for Johnny Manziel. Evans excels at making all kinds of passes, especially those crucial over the shoulder ones. He also has excellent hand-eye coordination, allowing him to adjust to the occasional inaccurate pass.
However, one characteristic that sets Mike Evans apart from other receivers is his unique combination of physicality, effort, and agility. Evans never backs away from contact, and he often rams into opposing defenders, fighting for extra yards. This level of aggressiveness allowed him to average over 20 yards per reception. Evans also has great footwork to go along with his strength, a rare and extremely beneficial combo. The wideout has deceptively quick acceleration, and although he lacks explosiveness he can reach his top speed almost instantly.
Mike Evans’ Weaknesses
Evans’ most obvious weakness is his lack of elite speed. Although he wouldn’t be considered slow, his speed when compared to other receivers in the NFL is average at best. Mike Evans will have a hard time getting behind the secondary for any deep passes at the professional level.
Another flaw of Mike Evans’ play is that he puts to much faith in his physicality when fighting for balls. In the past, Evans has relied on this and his size to beat out smaller and weaker defenders, although most of them do not even compare to those corners in the NFL. Evans will have to improve other aspects of his game in order to succeed, as it has difficult to rely on just physicality and size in the NFL.
Finally, another weakness for Evans is his lack of self-control. Although this may seem like a trivial issue, I can assure you it is much more than that and is definitely something that can potentially hurt the team both on and off the field. In Texas A&M’s Bowl Game against Duke, Evans picked up two 15-yard penalties that did not have to occur. Mike Evans will definitely have to control his temper if he aims to make a living in the NFL.
In the NFL, Mike Evans compares most to a player like Tampa Bay’s Vincent Jackson. They are both very large, very tall, and very aggressive wide receivers who lack elite speed. Both Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans have spectacular hands, and although Evans isn’t quite at Jackson’s level yet, he has the potential to be as good, if not better.
Potential New York Giant?
With the 12th overall pick of the draft, Mike Evans could potentially be drafted by the New York Giants. Big Blue is still in need of a clear cut number two receiver behind Victor Cruz, and Mike Evans could be just what they are looking for.
Both Evans and Cruz compliment each other perfectly. Cruz, the quick, elusive deep threat has the ability to make defenders miss with his finesse and elusiveness. Evans, on the other hand, is a large, physical target with great hands. When these two unique skill sets are combined, a dynamic receiving duo is formed.
Mike Evans can also be a prime redzone target for quarterback Eli Manning, who needs all the help he can get inside the 20. Last year, the Giants finished in 30th place for redzone touchdown efficiency.
The New York Giants certainly have a need and an interest in wide receiver Mike Evans, and don’t be surprised if come May the Giants draft the former Texas A&M Aggie.