Mike Evans Before Lewan Or Bridgewater?

April 21st, 2014

taylor lewanJoe doesn’t hide his immense respect for Pat Kirwan, the former Jets linebackers coach and personnel executive who has authored books on Xs and Os and co-hosts the fantastic Movin’ The Chains on SiriusXM NFL Radio, along with his duties for CBS Sports.

Kirwan is plugged in from many different angles. So Joe is a bit distressed that Kirwan has the Bucs selecting Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans with the No. 7 overall pick in his latest mock draft.

Here’s his top-7, via CBSSports.com.

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, OLB/DE, South Carolina: Clowney is on top for the third straight week, which is tough with rampant rumors and swirling speculation about the top pick. Clowney has elite skills. Too bad it didn’t show much in the 2013 season. Getting Andrew Luck to the ground is the top priority and Clowney should help but there is risk.

2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn: I believe St. Louis will trade down but if the Rams stay in the No. 2 spot Robinson has all the traits of a future Pro Bowl tackle. Former NFL offensive line coach Bob Wylie told me Robinson is so athletic he can get out of things and recover better than many guys to come down the road.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The Jags need a QB for the future and this young man has the competiveness, athletic ability and skills to be a starter in the NFL. I’m not sure this is a lock for Jacksonville.

4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: Later in the first round Cleveland will get its quarterback but for now it’s a game-breaking wide receiver opposite Josh Gordon.

5. Oakland Raiders – Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida: It is a risky pick with Matt Schaub on the roster and the pressure to play Bortles right away. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Raiders move down instead of taking this pick. A year from now the Raiders would have their long-term answer.

6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: The Falcons are in a great spot to take a pass rusher or a 10-year starting left tackle. Today it’s the pass protector and a guy that gives Matt Ryan the best chance to succeed.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: The Bucs traded away Mike Williams and they are too far down the draft board to get Sammy Watkins so it’s the next best thing. Evans is a faster, more explosive version of Vincent Jackson. You better have big corners when you play Tampa Bay.

Now this mock draft flummoxes Joe, though Joe finds it pretty spot on through the first six picks. Why would the Bucs pass on a blue chip tackle prospect like Taylor Lewan or QB Teddy Bridgewater in favor of a wide receiver in a draft that’s chock full of wide receiver talent? For Joe, that doesn’t make sense.

The Bucs have a serious need on the offensive line. Anthony Collins is an expensive question mark as a starting left tackle, a guy who has never started half a regular season in his career. And Demar Dotson will not be confused with an emerging Pro Bowler. Both turn 29 during this season.

Yes, Dotson is inexpensive and he’s an average player, no shame there, but Joe would be pleased to see a rookie stud tackle come in and let all three of them compete. Collins has played plenty of right tackle with the Bengals and could move to that side in future years — or immediately.

Bridgewater represents a major talent/potential upgrade for the most important position in the field.

The Bucs traded trade mattress-in-the-yard, blade-in-the-leg, house-party-friendly No. 2 receiver Mike Williams, but that’s no reason to get trigger-happy in the draft. We still don’t know what Jeff Tedford’s offense will look like. We know he’s got a fascination with multiple, pass-catching tight ends, and possibly, like Lovie Smith, is intoxicated by Jeff Demps.

Joe’s just not feeling how the Bucs are dialed into a receiver in the first round, unless they’re not sold on Vincent Jackson’s future and want every option in the fold in case they don’t want to pay him $10 million in 2015.

45 Responses to “Mike Evans Before Lewan Or Bridgewater?”

  1. bucrightoff Says:

    Newsflash Joe: Vincent Jackson is 31. As a receiver, he’s about as old as McCown is as a QB. Time to find the long term replacement. That doesn’t come in the 2nd round or later, where all the #2 or #3 guys are. Sammy and Evans are the only #1 guys in this draft. If either is available at 7, it’d be foolish not to consider it.

    And where was Jackson drafted? Late second round. –Joe

  2. Lev Says:

    I would rather trade back and get Odell Beckham Jr. He also is a stud kick returner. Heck with all the hoopla going around, we could probably trade back and get TB. If Johnny Football is there at 7 you take him. If not you trade back.

  3. Meh Says:

    Lewan is the pick that doesn’t make any sense. We need guards not tackles and he’s a head case with off field red flags.

    Bridgewater or Evans are both fine picks in that spot.

  4. joseph mamma Says:

    I just don’t see Bridgewater translating very well with NFL defenses, and I hope we don’t pick him. He is my least favorite of the possible first round QB’s. I could be wrong of course but I would rather another team try an develop him and not us.

  5. Brett Metcalf Says:

    What about Mack at 7?? He’s still on the board in this mock…

  6. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Can’t see Atlanta passing up on Khalil Mack… I agree with Bucrightoff. Evans is that good for a number 7 pick and the Bucs are one old man injury away from the passing game being completely screwed.

  7. Luther Says:

    We need immediate offensive play makers and Evans fits the bill. I don’t want Bridgewater anywhere near this team. Let him find another place to worry about gloves to fit his hands.

  8. SAMCRO Says:

    Tackles are usually better athletes than guards. For those of you hung up on this OT vs. G deal just don’t get it. It’s much easier to take a tackle and slide him into a guard position than it is to slide a guard into a tackle position. So why would you draft a guard before a talented tackle that may be on the board.

    That’s why you always see OT in the first round, where you hardly ever see a guard. Take the better athlete that can play either position.

    JOE, you’re one stubborn dude. None of these QB’s are worthy of our #7 pick. Quit trying to blow it. Personally in this mock, it would have been a toss up between Mack, Evans, or Lewan.

  9. adamant Says:

    I would pass on Bridgewater as well. Although he played in a pro-style offense, his overall skills are lacking to throw an early first round pick at him. Take the safe pick in Evans. At worst you have a solid #2 receiver. At best you have two pro-bowlers at WR next year. I would be very happy with Evans as the pick. Get a guard in the 2nd or 3rd round (if he is the best player available).

  10. Thegregwitul Says:

    Bridgewater might end up slipping like Geno Smith did last year. The small hands and slightly smaller frame could scare teams. Let’s also remember that the last Louisville QB that was initially projected to be a high draft selection ended up taking a major tumble (Brian Brohm). Or it’s all smoke, who really knows at this point.

    I would stay away from Lewan at seven, though. I think he’ll be a very productive pro, but he has some negative traits. Mike Evans at seven isn’t a reach, especially if a couple QBs like JFF are already off the board. I think the new regime hinted at potential franchise QBs being available outside the first round. 17 more days, can’t wait.

  11. T in Orlando Says:

    A few counterpoints:

    - Most scouts I’ve read up on, describe a bigger gap between Lewan and the 2 LTs before him, then between Evans and Watkins.
    - Bridgewater is dropping like a stone, right or wrong, apparently due to lackluster Pro-day and private workouts
    - Kirwan, who I like his insight, has been consistently off in his position of what the Bucs would due in off-season moves, that’s FAs or draft. This is not just this year, but for the past several years (I’ve been listening to him and Tim Ryan/Jim Miller for over 7 years). Not everyone gets FA moves right, and no one gets even half of the 1st rnd of the draft right, but Pat just doesn’t seem to have a good read on what the Bucs will do.

  12. Harry Says:

    If we don’t take a QB with the #7 pick, I prefer giving McCown some tools to play with, such as Evans at 7, or, if possible (since Tedford likes TEs), move down and take Ebron then add a WR with the second pick and take a nasty guard in the 3rd rd.

    Two really good pass catchers like Evans/Ebron, with a speedster in the slot and a good road grader for Doug Martin would give the offense something that would inspire the defense to play lights out. McCown would look like Payton friggin Manning

  13. Macabee Says:

    With as much uncertainty as there is with the top 5 picks, with 17 days until the draft, expect the unexpected. I’ve given up on predicting the pick.

    Kirwan is picking Mike Evans because well…….everybody is predicting Evans because they see WR as the Bucs greatest need. Reminds me of the 2012 draft where everybody was sure the Bucs would pick CB Morris Claiborne and they traded down and picked SS Mark Barron.

    With a draft this deep, anything can happen. Evans is the obvious pick and the obvious doesn’t always happen. I would be happy with Evans at #7, but I would also be happy with DT Aaron Donald. We may not pick the favorite or BPA, but it’s going to be hard not to pick someone that is going to help at any one of several positions!

  14. Aldo Says:

    well, that your opinion, right or wrong neither you or I take decisions for the bucs, if i were right there im sure as hell i’ll take a WR, im just waiting for the draft and see what is coming.

  15. JWBucs Says:

    I like Joe’s logic here but my prob with Lewan is he is pretty much just a LT. If Matthews is available I think he’s the pick. He’s a stud LT but can play all five positions on the O-line.

  16. Captain Stagger Says:

    Lewan isn’t even in the equation Joe, andTho knocks on TB are more than small hands and glove or no glove. It’s his attitude that has turned me off, scouts saying he interviews like Geno Smith. Evans or Mack are BPA, and as much as you like to bang the drum that it’s a deep reciever draft, the drop off after Evans is steep enough you take him at 7.

  17. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Peter King has been reading my posts. It’s a very weak QB draft.

  18. Architek Says:

    No more obvious dirt bags please. All the trouble that Lewan has had – I would pass.

    Bridgewater – I’ll pass on that too. He looks to be the part of a WC system fit.

  19. Vic Says:

    “Obvious dirt bag??” What did the guy do, break up a fight and push someone? He’s a legitimate firstround tackle. If we’re going to reach for need, then go get the tackle over the receiver.

  20. ManzielMadness Says:

    If the Bucs are set on drafting a WR, then TRADE BACK and get extra picks, still plenty of talent in mid-late round 1 including: Cooks, Benjamin, Lee, and OBJ

  21. bucrightoff Says:

    And where was Jackson drafted? Late second round. –Joe
    __________________________________________________________

    And yet we absolutely, 100% must draft a QB at 7. Kinda bizarre logic no?

  22. Harry Says:

    @bucrightoff Says:
    “…Time to find the long term replacement. That doesn’t come in the 2nd round or later, where all the #2 or #3 guys are…”

    Exactly my argument about drafting a QB at #7, thank you.

  23. Gt40bear Says:

    So we take the third rated tackle or a free falling QB, who personally shouldn’t have been rated highly to begin with over the unquestioned 2nd rated WR. All positions of need but WR is shallowest of all positions on this team. Yes WR is supposed to be deep but do you go with marginal players taken later or a potential beast taken early? I would prefferably like to trade down and get extra picks but under Kirwan’s scenario, since Matthews is gone, Evans is BPA. Take him and run! Lets not keep making the same mistakes that have us here by reaching because of perceived need.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    joseph mamma Says
    “I just don’t see Bridgewater translating very well with NFL defenses, and I hope we don’t pick him. He is my least favorite of the possible first round QB’s.”

    I agree 100%. Bridgewater has bust written all over him. I mean, the man could not even handle the pressure of a Pro Day and fans think he’ll handle the NFL Pro Football?

    Meanwhile, one of the QBs (Carr?) went out on their pro day while sick and looked awesome.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    bucrightoff,

    As mentioned many, many times, there are so many good WRs in this draft that they go deep into it.

    The WRs at ranked like this:
    1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
    2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    3. Marqise Lee, USC
    4. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
    5. Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
    6. Jarvis Landry, LSU
    7. Odell Beckham, LSU

    Maybe a couple are not speed guys, but who cares? Dexter Jackson was a speed guy.

  26. Tomcin Says:

    Please no Bridgewater. (BUST) Lewan before Evans. For you people that say we don’t need a tackle, what would happen if one of the starting tacles get hurt. No depth behind them. Plenty of good wr in this draft.

  27. sam Says:

    Demar dotason graded out as a top 5 right tackle last year…why would we take a tackle when we have ahuge hole at reciever? Am I missing something here?

  28. Chris Says:

    I wouldn’t pass on Teddy to take mike Evans but I’d pass on Johnny for him if Teddy was picked and Manziel was available.

  29. tiny tim Says:

    @ Joe

    I really do not understand why Joe doesn’t understand that the bucs have many needs and picking a WR, DE would also be a significant upgrade and essential help for this team. Joe would be the GM that is fired after a couple of years. Falling in love with a player just because you “need” said position regardless if he will truly translate ignoring all of the red flags. When you “need” several positions as the bucs do, there is no reason to fall in love with one player/position. Your options are completely open and you draft BPA.

    BTW…..yes Vjax was drafted in the second round, but you failed to mention that he was not any good until his fourth season. Lovie wants to win now, and a first round receiver like Evans would not be a bad pick as you continue to suggest. Do not point out that VJax was drafted in the second round then gloss over the fact that Colin and Drew were drafted in the second. If you did not know, there are a lot of 2nd round QBs that are not a big of a reach as JF or TB or BB

  30. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I think Mike Evans is a lot responsible for Johnny Manziel looking so good.
    I hope we take him, if he is still there at number 7.
    Evans and Jackson will make it hard for teams to play Tampa, unless they have huge corners.

  31. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    “Why would the Bucs pass on a blue chip tackle prospect like Taylor Lewan or QB Teddy Bridgewater in favor of a wide receiver in a draft that’s chock full of wide receiver talent?”

    Because Bridgewater is a 2nd-3rd round prospect, that’s why. Derek Carr will be drafted 1-2 rounds higher than Bridgewater, and you can take that to the bank.

  32. Chris Says:

    Because Bridgewater is a 2nd-3rd round prospect, that’s why. Derek Carr will be drafted 1-2 rounds higher than Bridgewater, and you can take that to the bank

    - you’re joking right? Besides arm strength bridgewater destroys Carr in every aspect in his game.

  33. Dennis Says:

    I personally think they should stay with BPA, and I feel like Mach is the next best player on that draft board.

  34. bucrightoff Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    April 21st, 2014 at 10:17 am
    bucrightoff,

    As mentioned many, many times, there are so many good WRs in this draft that they go deep into it.

    The WRs at ranked like this:
    1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
    2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    3. Marqise Lee, USC
    4. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
    5. Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
    6. Jarvis Landry, LSU
    7. Odell Beckham, LSU

    Maybe a couple are not speed guys, but who cares? Dexter Jackson was a speed guy.
    _______________________________________________________

    I see two #1 guys and a bunch of #2 and #3 guys. We do need #2 and #3 guys, but we also need a #1 to replace VJax. Good bet he’s a cap casuality next year too.

  35. BucinNC Says:

    Offensive linemen are often found late late in the draft and often come from no name schools. those SEC boys look massive on TV but theyre not really killing it in the pros. why reach on OL when we can fill that need later.

    plus, lewan is far worse compared to matthews and robinson. lewan is not a top 10 talent, he is more of a reach than evans or donald, heck even ebron is less of a reach than lewan.

  36. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    No thanks to Bridgewater or Lewan. Lewan is in major trouble with the law and is “SOFT”. What about that equation says lets draft this guy?? And Teddy once again has tiny hands and isn’t the smartest guy. So you would be ok with him trying to learn this Tedford Offense that will be extremely difficult and intricate. Give me Carr and WR in either the 2nd or 3rd.

    And VJax is 31. So finding a replacement has to start soon. He could play 3 or 4 more years and put up solid numbers. Or we could cut him next year and say thanks for the extra 10 million in cap space??

  37. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    What ever happened to Khalil Mack. I love Evans, but Mack is once in a decade kind of talent we can’t afford to pass on.

  38. Joe Says:

    What ever happened to Khalil Mack. I love Evans, but Mack is once in a decade kind of talent we can’t afford to pass on.

    Where would he play?

  39. Brian D. Says:

    Bridgewater blows. He will be a 2nd round pick and still be a bust.

  40. hamilton Says:

    Take teddy

  41. Jonny 2.3 Says:

    @Joe: SLB/DE hybrid just like Von Miller.

  42. Kalind Says:

    Joe, you should hop off the Brisgewater train. It’s going nowhere. The guy just….isn’t special enough for Lovie to link his and Lichts career to. A first rd pick is married to you. They have to succeed. Bridgewater is an enormous question mark. Too big for these guys. Not happening. I think the options are Manziel, Evans, Gilbert, or trade down for (really) anything. Why not?

  43. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Bridgewater is overrated by media and fans, but scouts have him ranked properly. Many of you will be surprised when Carr gets drafted 30+ picks ahead of Bridgewater. And I’m not even a Carr fan.

  44. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    If the organization determines that Bridgewater is the third or fourth best QB in this draft, then there is absolutely no way in hell we should take him at number 7 – PERIOD. I happen to like him and think he’ll be a fine pro, but if Lovie and Licht don’t believe that, then don’t reach and take him. We don’t need a QB that bad THIS year. That’s the definition of reaching, and how often does that really work out well for teams??? 7 is way too high of a pick to blow it, so we better be damn sure he’s going to be a franchise QB before we take one. Don’t take one just to take one – you better be in love with the guy.

    As for Evans, why not take the clear cut second best WR in this draft? Why settle for good WR’s later when you have the chance to get a great one? Don’t follow that logic, not for a second. And it just so happens that will probably be the best player available at 7 just so happens to be at a position of biggest need for us. We just signed a tackle, and regardless as to whether or not he’s a risk, the fact of the matter is he was signed to be a starter, and Dotson is at minimum a capable starter. You don’t pick an insurance plan at #7 (and again the 3rd best tackle)!! As Mike Tyson would say, that’s ludicrous. Who is our QB going to throw the ball to? With Evans, we have a plug and play #2, and within a year or so, probably a really good #1. But nah, who would want that? Let’s go out and get a tackle, just in case the guy we signed to be our tackle doesn’t work out.

  45. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Buccs won’t take a QB at seven. I think Bridgewater and Bortles will be there, and both passed-on. Manziel will be gone, and I think they don’t value receiver as highly at the number seven slot. If the Jags draft Manziel, the Browns take Watkins, if the Jags go a different direction the draft Manziel. The Buccs will either take either Robinson/Matthews, Mack/Clowney, or trade back to grab a receiver/te. I think they will target Carr in the second round, and may even trade back into the first round to grab him and get the extra year (while red-shirting Carr his first year under McCown to learn unless the team implodes). and prevent teams in need ahead of them from selecting David. IF Watkins/Manziel is there at seven and none of the other four are there, I can see the Buccs taking one of them. Evans is essentially a VJ clone, and Watkins would spread the field more and create more opportunities in this style of offense. I’m fine trading back as well to net us additional picks to sure up other areas of value later in the draft…

 
 

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