Mike Evans Revisit

January 28th, 2015
A national NFL analyst revisits his breakdown of Bucs first round pick WR Mike Evans prior to the 2014 draft.

A national NFL analyst revisits his breakdown of Bucs first round pick Mike Evans prior to the 2014 draft.

Joe has been fortunate to talk annually to scouts and NFL types about the draft. One doesn’t need such access to understand how the draft is such an inexact science.

Even a drunk in a bar can tell if a general manager bats .500 in the draft; folks in Canton are polishing a bust for the man.

So Joe thought it was interesting to read Matt Waldman’s recent piece revisiting the 2014 draft.

The football analyst who writes for FootballOutsiders.com and the New York Times, Waldman’s year-old breakdown of Bucs first round pick Mike Evans was just about dead-on.

Texas A&M’s red-shirt sophomore Mike Evans has skills that could help him develop into a player along the same stylistic continuum as Boston, Brandon Marshall, and Vincent Jackson. I don’t think he has the same explosive athleticism as Boston or Jackson, but he can thrive in this role in similar NFL offenses and he has earned his position as a top prospect at the position. …

I’m also impressed with his open-field skills. He sees the open space and anticipates what he has to do to exploit it. This play is a great example because his back is turned to the open area he’s going to run to, but he’s aware of the position of the defenders in the area and has a good feel for their pursuit angles. Once it’s established that a receiver has NFL-caliber speed, knowing how to run where the defense is just as valuable a skill. Evans has this awareness.

What Evans lacks is also apparent on this highlight: sudden acceleration. He’s not an Antonio Brown type. He wasn’t open on the initial post and when he bends the route from the inside to the sideline, it’s a looping arc rather than a stop-start cut. There’s nothing wrong with that in particular – in fact it’s a great adjustment – but Evans thrives when he can get early position and use his big frame to stay on top of his opponent as the ball arrives. If Manziel didn’t have to leave the pocket, Evans’ post would not have been a viable target because the defender had inside position all the way.

Pretty impressive bulls-eye by Waldman.

And Joe knows this is coming so Joe is being proactive: Get off your Johnny Football hate and go chase a cat. Only a mental patient would call a guy a bust who has only logged six quarters of play.

32 Responses to “Mike Evans Revisit”

  1. 87ForJameisNoMariota Says:

    Proactive ha ha ha ha ha. Good call Joe.

  2. bucrightoff Says:

    I actually wasn’t going to say anything about Manziel, but then you did Joe. Weaker arm than Tebow, higher BAC than completion %. He’s a bust.

  3. You Go Joe Says:

    There is a picture of Manziel with Gordon partying before Gordon failed his drug test. Just doesn’t look good when a QB takes a buddy out drinking/goes with buddy drinking then failing a test.

  4. Eric Says:

    Great selection of Mike Evans by Lovie.

    The comment about Manziel is correct, way to early to call him a bust.

    Just like it is too early to judge the rest of Lovie’s draft last season.

    And, applying the same reasonable logic, way too early to judge Lovie after only one season.

  5. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Don’t be so sensitive Joe. As you rightly point out, Manziel has only been in the league for a few months so far. But let’s be honest, it’s hard to imagine that his rookie year could have been much worse than it was! His attitude seems to have alienated many of his teammates, his partying ways angered and worried his coaches and the Browns leadership, and the little bit of actual on the field work he got was mediocre at best! Hopefully he sees the error of his ways and really dedicated himself to being a good NFL QB and teammate this year. If he doesn’t….he may not get another chance! We all have players we like in college, that don’t make it in the NFL! I’m just glad the Bucs did not take Johnny Football over Mike Evans….or we probably wouldn’t have won a single game this season! Evans is the real deal!

  6. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    And, applying the same reasonable logic

    Logic? Are you kidding us Eric. There is far, far, more emotion on this board than logic. But then it’s a blog for sports fans not scientists so I suspect that emotion should trump logic. 🙂

  7. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Even a drunk in a bar can tell if a general manager bats .500 in the draft

    That’s a great number Joe. According to WalterFootball 54% of 1st rounders make it and 50% of 2nd rounders, I do not know the average on the rest of the rounds.

    Bottom line: If a GM hits on 50% of his picks in the first two rounds he’s average. Below that number he’s below average, above…obviously above average.

    Based on that standard L&L’s first draft looks at least OK since they hit on one of those first two picks in Evans. If ASF turns out to develop into a solid NFL TE then L&L will have had an above average draft.

  8. DB55 Says:

    develop into a player along the same stylistic continuum as Boston, Brandon Marshall, and Vincent Jackson.

    Who’s Boston?

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Maybe with Mariota…..Evans can get wide open like he did with Johnny…..or like all of Mariota’s Duck recievers…..

    Think ASJ & Sims will turn out to be solid picks….and if we are lucky….one of the two….Pamphile or Edwards…

  10. 87ForJameisNoMariota Says:

    David Boston.

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Despite my initial reluctance to take a WR with a top 10 pick since history has shown those highly selected receivers rarely live up to expectations – Evans showed in his 1st year that he is completely worthy of having been a high 1st round pick. It was a solid choice by L&L and if we can continue the trend this year in choosing the best QB (Winston obviously) – then this franchise will definitely be headed in the right direction.

  12. 77bassguitarist Says:

    Damn joe his own teammates called his arse a joke! To drunk to make his re-hab manzeil is a loser, everytime you defend him you sound like a loser to.

  13. bucrightoff Says:

    Sims will always be a terrible pick unless he becomes a top 5 back. Literally every other position on the team was a bigger hole. Just not a good pick and pretty much indefensible.

  14. Eric Says:

    Winston to Evans.


  15. biff barker Says:

    And Joe knows this is coming so Joe is being proactive: Get off your Johnny Football hate and go chase a cat.

    I don’t hate Johnny Football at all Joe…. so no hard feelings here. His team mates believe otherwise though and it will be a long rocky road for him to gain their confidence back.

    Character and maturity matters in the NFL. Greatly. Maybe Brooks can help find him a babysitter too.

  16. RachelWatson'sthong Says:

    Evans was the first jersey I have bought in a very long time. Praying he doesn’t “Mike Clayton” on us.

  17. Nose Tackle Says:

    Might of played more than 6 qtr’s if he wasn’t in a drunken stupor and actually made it to work.

  18. Deacon Blues Says:

    ME needs to work on his Routes.. And because he is not a quick twitch athlete his route tree will be limited and require an accurate passer who can either create time or an O-line that can protect.

  19. Couch Fan Says:

    I dont think Manziel is a bust yet but You were calling for Glennons head after just a few games, but now people are “mental patients” for doing the same to Manziel? Lol

  20. Lev Says:

    Hey Joe, next time you and Steve Deuming are arguing about Jameis, remind him that even Payton Manning had sexual assault allegations when he was at Tennessee!!! LOOK IT UP!!!

  21. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Manziel has made Shanny quit because he said there is no way they could win with him. Joe knows QBs better than shanny tho
    Shanny’s assistant was fired for not playing him too.
    Some of his teammates won’t shake his hand
    Dude is a Cancer. Joe shoved him down our throats though like he was the next big thing. Deja’ vu?

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’ll take Manziel over Winston or Mariota.

  23. thegregwitul Says:

    While you’re right about being a mental case for calling Manziel a bust after six quarters of football, and while I normally would never make a call this early on a rookie, Johnny Football has been a walking disaster in Cleveland and it’s on him; constant partying, inability or refusal to learn the playbook, arrogant behavior, he’s been a joke.

    He also fails the eye test; Johnny looks like a teenager running around clueless on the football field. Only in Cleveland would ownership pay $100,00.00 for an analytic study that points them to Teddy Bridgewater, only to have the owner be swayed in part by the ramblings of a homeless man to draft a player who is basically a product of hype.

    Yes, he was an amazing and exciting college player, but he was never a first round talent. To add insult to injury, the Browns screwed up their first pick by passing on Sammy Watkins, Odell Beckham and Mike Evans to draft a corner who currently has been called out for his mediocre work ethic.

    Look at the upcoming offseason for Cleveland; offensive coordinator and QB coach gone, Josh Gordon suspended for all of 2015 and ownership is openly commenting that the future starting QB may not even be on the roster yet. Vintage Factory of Sadness. For as bad as the Bucs have been over the last five seasons, at least they haven’t been Cleveland.

  24. OB Says:

    He has another plus, his blocking and that is worth something also especially when the back breaks loose.

  25. 72impalabigblock Says:

    Tennesse Titans CB Jason McCourty say that he would prefer Jameis Winston with the 2nd pick over Marcus Mariota… Maybe the Titans are not satisfied with Mettenberger..

  26. ddneast Says:

    Never called Manzell a bust, but I did say yesterday that I doubt if the Bucs would have had a better record than 2-14 if they had drafted and played him.
    Why you would draft that immature brat last year but pass on Nick Foles this year if he is available puzzles me though, Joe.
    Foles is a proven NFL starter who has shown he can play at a high level in this league.
    He fits better in a pro style offense than Mariotta, who you don’t like, and has no character issues like the beleaguered Winston.
    I have just seen to many QB’s with problems like Winston’s come in and fail in the NFL because as John McKay once pointed out to Kevin House after he short armed a pass thrown to him, “young man, those are men out there. If you don’t plan on playing like one, you won’t last long.”

  27. 77bassguitarist Says:

    At 72impala i have a 72 caprice two door it’s all about the chevy’s!

  28. Nose Tackle Says:

    BigMacAttack Says:
    January 28th, 2015 at 12:55 pm
    I’ll take Manziel over Winston or Mariota. ……………………………………………………………………………….
    Now that is sum funny shizzit right thar !

  29. Ray Rice Says:

    I will take Johnny over anyone in the NFL if my goal was to get some great coke and a $hhhhit load of bitchessss….. I take that back. Almost everyone. I forgot about Lawrence Taylor.

  30. LargoBuc Says:

    Solid assesment of Evans. That writer knows his stuff. Im so glad we got him and i hope he continues to develop and adjust and lead our young core of playmakers.
    As for Manziel it is foolish to label him or any player a bust after a game and a half. If two years from now he still isnt productive and hasnt steped it up then yea. Bust. I just hope he puts being a starting NFL qb ahead of his “brand”.

  31. Mike10 Says:

    Chase a cat… “or play in traffic” has a bit more zing

    Joe – taking Johnny in the first round is laughable. Could you imagine this football team with him or better yet without Evans. You’d have 1 aging/ expensive WR, a question mark on the OL and at RB + a first rd pick invested in a QB who has the brains of Winston with none of the NFL talent, size, or intangibles… eeeek

    I’ve read your articles that say drama brings the fans… to which I say keep your fans, drama, and rex ryan-type circus and give me WINS!

    … and it’s that same mentality with johnny football last year that you’re bringing into this draft in search of a quarterback…. I hear what you’re saying Joe, I just hope L+L aren’t because you’re reaching!

  32. bk Says:

    Its easy to call Manziel a bust. He lacks so many things to be a good NFL qb which is being amplified by his lack of dedication to his craft.

    Joe why do u think this guy will all of a sudden get it? There is no history that shows he will. Just the opposite has occurred. Late for meetings etc. Proof is in the pudding. Show me differently.