High Honor For Justin Evans

May 2nd, 2017


The Bucs’ new second-round pick, safety Justin Evans, has come under fire for lots of poor tackling, but there’s big-time upside there.

The excellent site SECCountry.com took a deeper look at Evans, who made his name at Texas A&M, home of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, defensive end Myles Garrett. Joe Clarkin typed up five things to know about Evans. Joe’s sharing two below.

It turns out Evans’ teammates placed him on the same plane as Garrett.

3. Justin Evans was voted Texas A&M’s co-defensive MVP, alongside possible No. 1 pick overall Myles Garrett

It’s high praise to be named as valuable as the consensus best prospect in the draft. It’s even more meaningful when teammates make that decision. Evans finished the 2016 season with 87 tackles, five tackles for loss and four interceptions. Given those numbers, it is difficult to argue with the Aggies in selecting Evans to share defensive MVP honors with Garrett.

4. Justin Evans has excellent ball skills

There are scouts who believe Evans has ball skills that would make your average wide receiver prospect jealous. Blessed with huge hands for a guy his size, and having an inherent knack for knowing where the ball will go, Evans had five interceptions in his two years.

Uplifting stuff right there.

Sure, Evans has a lot of fans conjuring memories of Sabby The Goat, the Bucs’ second-round safety draft pick in 2007. But that’s not totally fair. Yeah, Sabby was that bad.

Evans has big-league talent. Now Mike Smith and his coaching friends have to smooth the very rough edges. And if Evans has to be a rotational player for a season, Joe is all good with that.

84 Responses to “High Honor For Justin Evans”

  1. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    No questioning his abilities in coverage, or his athleticism & range. But he has a LOT of work to do in order to justify his 2nd round draft status.

  2. Garv Says:

    Hey Justin Evans was considered to be the third or fourth best safety in a very deep draft at the position. He’s going to contribute immediately and may start by 2018. This was yet another solid pick by Jason Licht and I know Coach Smith is happy.

  3. Brandon Says:

    I was extremely impressed with his savvy, instincts, and coverage ability against the pass…. it is his atrocious tackling that has me wondering if he’ll ever play meaningful downs for the Bucs. I’ve never seen a tackler this bad…. nor have I ever seen people get it so wrong on a player. All the reports of him being a hard hitter are completely erroneous. He had maybe one or two hard hits on his highlight tape… ONE or TWO… When he actually tackles somebody he is the epitome of a drag down tackler, hopping on the guy’s back and going for a ride. He’ll come up and try to hit a receiver if the guy’s back is turned, but if the guy gets moving upfield he throws himself at the player’s feet and almost always misses.

    I do see special qualities in the areas of route recognition, instincts, athleticism (not to be confused with speed, because he isn’t fast), and ball skills. He’s a project at this point. He makes Keith Tandy trying to tackle Tavon Austin look like John Lynch on his brother in law (john Allred).

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    he has what it takes to justify being picked in the 2nd round….honestly, if we didn’t pick him in the second somebody else would’ve….i’ll never forget him laying the wood on derrick henry multiple times back in 2015….it was a great pick…..once marcus maye went off the board, he was the best safety left…he’ll be a buc for a long time…..GO BUCS!!!!

  5. DallasBuc Says:

    Put on his game tape and you will see that Evans (Sabby clone) was constantly out of position, made bad reads, took bad angles, MISSED tackles “bigly”, blocked out of plays that he should have made way too easily and was chasing the whole game. Time we stop overhyping Licht’s reaches. This happens every draft (see Sims, AguaOh,no, etc.) and we always see the fanboys are more worried about protecting Licht’s image than objectively assessing his decisions. Same shht different offseason.

  6. JTHV Says:

    Blake_bucsfan Says:
    May 2nd, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    No questioning his abilities in coverage, or his athleticism & range. But he has a LOT of work to do in order to justify his 2nd round draft status

    And what in the F##K have you ever done in your lifetime to feel you have even a minute qualification in relation to the NFL to purvey this dumbass opinion??

  7. ME13 Says:

    He a game changer!!! Just like all game changers they miss some to!!! Von Miller a game changer does he get a sack every play no does he make every tackle no!! Love his range an ball skills!! Greg Olsen has has caught 30 passes for 6oo yrs the last 3 seasons !! Evans will slow that way down!! Don’t for get what a freak 11 is for the Falcons Evans got the range to not let 11 beat us deep an can go up an contest for the ball

  8. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Well we certainly have a golden opportunity for a great coverage Safety in our Division. Perhaps Licht was thinking…Brees…Ryan…and Newton when he made that pick.

  9. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    You know what a man with big hands has right? Big Gloves! A safety with the range and speed of a cornerback and a nose for the ball, kids gonna explode in the pros watch. 197 tackles in 2 years? You do the math!

  10. Pick6 Says:

    i think we will be seeing a lot more of chris conte and JJ wilcox than we might like to in 2017. he has holes in game that NFL ballcarriers and coaches will exploit mercilessly, the good news is the problems and the player appear to be coachable. not the “safe” and “clean” guy from a football instincts perspective that i was hoping for in the mid 2nd round of a deep draft

  11. USFBUC Says:

    I’m not worried about his missed tackles because he made plenty of them too. He does look like a walking penalty machine in his highlight videos though

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    to be fair, ALL rookies need to get better at tackling once they enter the NFL….they aint playing against 18 year old kids anymore or the FAU……..Jamaal Adams will need to practice tackling just as much as evans….maybe even more sense he’s a top 10 pick….the kid will be fine….people are over analyzing this kid….yall acting like licht drafted him in the 2nd round because he was the last safety left….R-E-L-A-X!!!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!

  13. EA Says:

    Obviously time will tell weather this is a good pick or not but I have faith in Smitty, he turned around our safeties big time last year.


    I didn’t know that the Buc fan base can look at a highlight video and determine how bad a player tackles and how much they were out of position in coverage. The scouting department might be hiring

  15. bucsfaninchina Says:

    You forgot to included the segment where it was mentioned he could play the slot. Ability to play multiple positions a cornerstone of being on the Bucs roster.

  16. Pete Mitchell Says:

    Maybe it’s also important to note that Keith Tandy is highly thought of within the locker room as far as his ability to communicate with and lead younger players. Several outlets have reported Tandy’s ability and desire to one day coach. I doubt it was really part of the decision making process, but it does help to think that the young man Evans is walking into a situation where he has a somewhat veteran guy who seems willing to help him along, in addition to the coaching staff.

  17. K2 Says:

    I’m always amazed at the the number of people that complain about great picks. If we selected Budda Baker…everyone would be excited. To get a smaller, slower guys who has paddles for hands and would probably drop a ball if you handed it to him. The Bucs are smart to let their staff evaluate talent and not the media. Actually, Baker will probably be an ok player…but Evans will kick ass and take names. Love this pick!!!

  18. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Panthers waived S tre Boston. Interested?

  19. nate12345 Says:

    yes but he had miles garrent rushing the passer every down…

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Lets be honest here I mean how far does he have to go to start for the bucs at safety, I mean Chris “Softball Guy” Conte and wilcox? Dallas DBs are in as bad shape as the bucs so for the cowboys not to resign this dude says a ton…hope he turns into an all pro and solidifies the back end and not another sabby

  21. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Pffft Jthv, you need to calm your tiddies little man.

    Don’t know why you felt the need to come at me with such disrespect, maybe it’s that you were so incredibly wrong about Cook, while I myself hit the nail right on the head with O.J. Howard.

    But you need to come correct the next time you think about addressing me by name.

    I’m going by what I see on film. Dude is aces when it comes to coverage and defending a ball in the air, but Justin Evans is god awful in pursuit. Takes poor angles, gets blocked off of plays WAY too easily, and has a real problem wrapping up.

    Personally don’t give 2 craps what you think, but I trust my eyes, and they tell me that Justin Evans has a ton of work to do in order to become an every down safety.

    Don’t confuse me with a Licht hater either, because I love, respect and appreciate every thing he’s done to improve this team. But that’s not gonna stop me from forming my own opinion.

    Take your 2 dollar words and scratch on bro. Bye Felicia.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Jason & Staff did excellent job – of catching a run at the position.
    Eleven “Safeties” were drafted between the first, and third round.

    *11 Safeties Picked ← (Rounds 1-3)
    • (1/6) Jets Jamal Adams LSU (SEC)
    • (1/15) Colts Malik Hooker Ohio St. (Big Ten)
    • (1/25) Browns Jabrill Peppers Michigan (Big Ten)
    • (2/36) Cardinals Budda Baker Washington (Pac-12)
    • (2/39) Jets Marcus Maye Florida (SEC)
    • (2/42) Saints Marcus Williams Utah (Pac-12)
    • (2/50) Buccaneers Justin Evans Texas A&M (SEC)
    • (2/56) Raiders Obi Melifonwu Uconn (The American)
    • (2/61) Packers Josh Jones NC State (ACC)
    • (3/91) Rams John Johnson BC (ACC)
    • (3/95) Seahawks Delano Hill Michigan (Big Ten)

    *Safeties Run (Rounds 1-3) – Ranked 3rd among “All” position groups

    Case In Point:

    Position Group Run (Rounds 1-3)
    1st. Cornerbacks: 18
    2nd. Defensive Ends: 15
    3rd. Safeties: 11 ←
    4th. Wide Receivers: 14
    5th. Linebackers: 8
    6th. Running Backs: 8
    7th. Tight Ends: 6
    8th. Quarterbacks: 6
    9th. Offensive Tackles: 5

    So much for not being a position of importance.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    My bad – typo they ranked 4th

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    @DALLAS….who else was left on the board that had a better skill set than j.evans?…..all the top safeties were gone….he was the BPA as far as safety IMO and obviously Licht’s as well …..budda, maye and marcus Williams were all gone….obi and josh jones were the only high prospects left and they had the same 2nd round grade as j.evans…..can you say without a doubt that obi has better ball skills and is a better tackler than evans?….what about josh jones?…they were all graded about the same….we wont know until the bullets start flying…..GO BUCS!!!!

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    A run of 25 defensive backs – were drafted between rounds 1-3.

  26. Pepsi Says:

    K2, if we selected Budda youre right that everyone would be excited, but im not sure what youre implying – like there was some sort of predisposed bias against Evans? This is strictly based on film. Fans who are also film junkies like myself who watch real full game snaps on sites like draftbreakdown.com of prospects every year can tell you that Budda Baker is a terrific safety but undersized, and Evans is simply leagues behind him. In my personal opinion Evans doesnt upgrade us at Safety and if he starts as a rookie, he possibly makes us worse but dont take my word for it. But also dont just be a blind homer – draftbreakdown.com – form youre own educated opinion not based on youtube highlights

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “and we always see the fanboys are more worried about protecting Licht’s image than objectively assessing his decisions”

    So the Dallasbuc evaluation is the only objective one?

    Pretty much every site had him as a R2-R4 range pick and most all were saying R2-R3.. I guess they’re all buc fans.

    NFL.com – R2/R3 – compared to Karlos Joseph
    nfldraftscout – R3/R4
    Walterfootball – R2-R4
    PFF- 3rd best coverage S in draft with Earl Thomas as comparision – athletic S who misses T but is great in coverage (R2 grade)
    CBS sports – R3/R4

    dude if everyone had him as a 4-6th round pick then I’d say – yeah DallasBuc – that was an obvious reach by Light as of now according to objective opinion. But he went about in the range where everyone had him. No one would have freaked if he went early R2. Most sites graded the pick as a B type pick in terms of matching need/value. By your own logic you’re the non-objective fan here.

  28. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Just watched a highlight film of him against LSU and he wanted no part of derrius guice, I cannot imagine if fournette would have been back there, looks like tx a &m used him like the bucs do tandy or Macdougal a bunch of the time, but he looks like he may be more suited for the FS role….like gruden said there are no more days to teach tackling in the NFL, so hopefully he can be that FS

  29. bucsfaninchina Says:

    Nice writeup, LUV.

    Big dropoff between Evans and the safety picked nearest to their third round pick, John Johnson.

  30. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Safety Justin Evans (5-11 5/8, 195) ran the 40 in 4.57 and 4.64 seconds, had a 41.5-inch vertical, a 10-9 broad jump, and stood on the rest of his numbers from the combine. He has excellent ball skills, and uses his experience as a center fielder in baseball to help him high-point the ball.

    Note: Those numbers are great – when you consider he had a strained quad.

    Texas A&M Pro Day | Justin Evans

  31. 813bucboi Says:

    its only so much you can tell from a highlight….im a die hard gator fan and SEC lover….I’ve seen numerous TAMU games and this kid always popped out…if you haven’t seen at least 3 full TAMU games between 2015-2016, and think you can make a judgment based on a 5 minute highlight videos, than all I can do is laugh….right along with licht….GO BUCS!!!!

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Appreciate it brotha #Respect

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    LUV …that was my only reasoning for the pick during the draft. DB’s were flying off the board. Wait until the 3rd and you ain’t getting one. Or at least any one that’s any good.

    I already dropped my early grade on the draft. No need to harp on it. We’ll see.

  34. Joeypoppems Says:

    Yea that LSU game was the only game I watched of him so far and it was not a great game for him to say the least. He even popped one of the WRs over the middle and the WR got up before he did lol

  35. Lord Cornelius Says:

    LUV- great point and one i thought about when it was happening. Huge run on safeties in R2. Big dropoff after the NC state guy in terms of prospects. WR run didn’t start till R3 so we timed those picks well to get the best value.

    If we didn’t take Evans R2 he would have gone in the next 5 picks and we’d have reached on a guy like Hill or Jones from BC instead of taking a way better value of Godwin at that point. Or we’d basically just had said F*ck what we need at S this year.

  36. hamilton Says:

    evans will be a good player ,will start day one.

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    You know, its funny.
    Ive read just about every draft rag ever written.
    All of them have the “positives” and “Negatives” section.

    Not for Von Miller, Not for JJ Watts, Not for Tom Brady.

    These rags are thrown together quick, after the combine. Most of the guys reviewing the players have never seen them live. Some, – they havent seen at all. Basing their reviews on what they’ve heard or read by others.

    In many cases, you’d get more truth from the national inquirer

    What they are good for, is combining stats from playing, with measurables from the combine.

    As far as the”positives and negatives”, thats just speculation by guys on a deadline- who probably have very little actual research on a safety in deep Texas.
    Yet many here read these reviews, and quote them forever- like a mad parrot,
    regurgitating the same phrases. Over and over.
    Its exactly what happens here. Everyday. To Donavan Smith.
    And I can tell allready, its going to happen to our new safety. There are guys posting here right now- who I guarantee you have never seen him play- who are “expertly” discussing our new safeties” Tackling issues”
    Because these uninformed idiots are believing an article ritten by an equally uninformed idiot.

    Guy got to “negatives” in his review, and probably just threw in some of the ole standards. Could say that crap about any young player, who plays in space.
    And they did.”sporting News”said Vin Miller was too interested in big hit. Needed to focus on tackling. Sounds familiar.

    Yet some of you treat that stuff, like it was written by the prophets!!
    If you havent focused on him, his whole career- hows about you wait to judge him- instead of judging him on some hack writers opinion.
    In court, we call that”Acting on hearsay”, and its not allowed.
    Because most hearsay is BS.

  38. 813bucboi Says:

    @PEPSI….I have to disagree with you and agree with @K2….even mike mayock said once budda was drafted that if he had any ball skills, he would’ve had 6 or 7 picks this year….he often dropped picks that were thrown right to him…..cant teach ball skills….we need players that can take the ball away….VHG, grimes and tandy all have great ball skills….GO BUCS!!!!

  39. Arealbucfan Says:

    We picked Hargreaves 1st round last year… how many tackles did he miss? Move on and let the kid prove himself.. btw I wanted Evans to fall too is but he could’ve been hand in the 3rd.. I also wanted Godwin so it worked out

  40. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Hopefully next year Jason & Staff – will draft his commrade – Armani Watts

    Armani Watts

  41. LakeLandBuc Says:

    165 Tackles in 2 seasons…and this kid suppose to be a POOR TACKLER. Including 99 solo Tackles. Had 87 Tackles in 2016, including 52 solo Tackles.

  42. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Looking BacK: JBF conversation concerning Safeties
    February 4th, 2017

    The Safeties

  43. Bucsfanman Says:

    I think everyone needs to take a time-out here! There’s no need to make any assumptions about the kid. There’s a reason they re-signed Conte and brought in Wilcox. When you throw Tandy into the mix, the Bucs don’t need this kid to start in 2017. If he’s good enough he’ll break the line-up.
    He’s a solid pick that will contribute and will eventually be your starting FS. They didn’t sign Conte to a long-term deal and Tandy’s contract is up after this year, I think.
    This is where we want to be guys, not drafting out of desperation, drafting for the future. Think about it!

  44. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lord Cornelius

    Exactly. It was major drop off in talent – at a position of need.
    So you gotta respect the move.

  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Will be interesting to see what we do – at the corner position going forward though.

  46. Mark Marchbanks Says:

    Here are some comments from the experts I’ve pulled together:

    Looks terrible in those highlights. Sorry. Late reactions looks lost. Not too excited. Gotta get that special teams depth though

    Not exactly a highlight tape, as he misses some tackles.

    I don’t like how much he leaves his feet when tackling and he gets blocked very easily. Looks like a special teams player to me.

    Looks to me like he kinda gets soft going head to head with guys. Kinda wraps em up and lets they’re body get past his and tries to bring them down. Scary all the yards after contact big backs will get off of him. Yes must be a hell of a special teamer but not sure based on this…

    If his tape is any indication of his play at linebacker, you can expect the Bucs to be losers for sure if he starts !! I just hope he is a special teams demon because he looks like he is “lost in space” as a linebacker !!

    Yes…. all those things were said about Kwon Alexander. Another wasted draft pick.

    Can we all just wait a bit to see him in training camp and MAYBE even let him try to make the team and play his first season before we label him a bust?

  47. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Co-defensive MVP for one school, not all schools, right? Just Texas A&M?

  48. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Sigh…I suppose I should be happy they didn’t just stick with JJ Wilcox. Maybe Evans can be taught to tackle better.

  49. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Can we all just wait a bit to see him in training camp and MAYBE even let him try to make the team and play his first season before we label him a bust?”

    Nope. According to DallasBuc it was a huge reach irregardless of many sites ranking Evans as a R2 pick. No matter what he does in the league it was an objectively bad pick because DallasBuc said so. We’re all just being homers that care so much about Light’s reputation on Bucs message boards. I don’t even know why I watched ANY film or read up on ANY prospects if I could have just known this truth the entire time. I don’t think I’m going to even watch the games this year. Just gonna ask DallasBuc who objectively won based on his opinion and not the score card.

  50. passthebuc Says:

    Shabby the goat was an excellent tackler,
    albeit from behind

  51. Rob Says:

    Why do some yard and respond to these guys who have nothing but negative comments about our football team. Clearly they’re not Bucks fans so why even comment back.

  52. bucs_365 Says:

    Jeezus, what a group of catastrophizers. If there’s anything we’ve learned after years of following the draft, it’s that a whole lot of these people who evaluate players for the media have no f*cking clue what makes a good football player. Give me a guy with speed, range, interceptions, and hitting ability, and he can be taught to tackle better. I trust Jason Licht’s evaluations.

  53. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Rob Says:
    May 2nd, 2017 at 3:33 pm
    Why do some yard and respond to these guys who have nothing but negative comments about our football team. Clearly they’re not Bucks fans so why even comment back.”

    I duno man some claim to be and have been posting here a while. Their constant negativity that isn’t founded in reality or objectivity is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen for a fan to be like.

  54. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    As I try to find reasons to believe this was a better draft than I feel like it was, I’m going over my notes from before the draft. It’s encouraging.

    In attempting to predict draft values per round, I had come up with this:

    Predictions and Results

    • 1st Round: 5.9 – 6.8 (my prediction was 6.2)
    Bucs Pick: OJ Howard 6.5
    Obviously, this is a HUGE value. None of the mocks predicted so many high value picks would fall so far. Amazing.

    • 2nd Round: 5.7 – 5.9 (my prediction was 5.8)
    Bucs Pick: Justin Evans 5.8
    He does fall right there at the value I predicted. Exactly at the value. My concern with him was that he is not a good tackler, and I remember Sabby all too well. Hopefully, he can improve in that area.

    • 3rd Round: 5.5 – 5.7 (my prediction was 5.7)
    Bucs Pick: Chris Godwin 5.7
    Right at the value I predicted. Gotta love this pick, even if I would have gone elsewhere. I don’t always have to get my guys, but I always want to feel like a position was upgraded. In this case, it was.

    Bucs Pick: Kendell Beckwith 5.6
    This value actually well right in line with the overall round value prediction. I didn’t know we would get another pick, and at first when it was made, I thought ‘ILB????’ Until I learned he would play OLB or DE. Good pick. Possibly great one if he works out.

    • 4th Round: 5.4 – 5.7 (my prediction was 5.5)
    Bucs Pick: None

    • 5th Round: 5.3 – 5.4 (my prediction was 5.4)
    Bucs Pick: Jeremy McNichols 5.6
    My second least favorite pick, mainly because I don’t feel he is the style of running the Bucs need at the moment. HOWEVER, I will concede the he is a very good value in this round, and by this time, the guys I felt would fit better were gone (of course, without the trade, we would have gotten Hill).

    • 6th Round: 5.2 – 5.3 (my prediction was 5.3)
    Bucs Pick: None

    • 7th Round: 5.1 – 5.2 (my prediction was 5.2)
    Bucs Pick: Steve Tu’ikolovatu 5.5
    Extremely good value for the round. Looking at many other teams, they fell right in line with the predicted value about half the time. The Bucs did get great value. And 7th round IS where we hope to get depth. The reason this is my least favorite pick is that we needed other positions that were not addressed more. Tu’ikolovatu may well turn out to be a great player, but that doesn’t change the fact that we needed other positions that were available more.

    All of that said…I’m trying to wrap my head around these picks, trying to see an unbiased bright side. This is just my process. I don’t tend to listen to the hype that ALWAYS surrounds the Bucs draft picks right after the draft. I prefer to seek out true reasons to like the picks.

    Sometimes the reasons are quickly apparent. Other times I have to wait to see what the player does to prove himself. But I’m working on it.

    Jason Licht needs to make a move or two with Free Agents to blow my mind. Doesn’t have to be big names…just signings that will improve the team in certain areas. And for God’s sake, Licht needs to set his pride aside concerning the offensive line. It ISN’T good enough, and his line about ‘it was good enough the year before’ means nothing but that they overachieved that year.

    It seems competition only matters everywhere but QB and OL.

  55. Destinjohnny Says:

    There were soooo many better players on the board.
    The guy can’t tackle

  56. Rod Munch Says:

    The limited tape I’ve seen on him I’m impressed, he’s flying all over the field. I think it was NFL Network which said he injured himself at the combine but worked out anyways and that his 4.61 speed is in reality more in the 4.4 range. Regardless of it that’s correct or not I like his tape, at least what I’ve seen. Also tackling can be taught – speed and instincts can not.

  57. briandorry55 Says:

    87 tackles…400 missed tackles…

  58. Buc Fan in NC Says:

    I like the kid and I’m more than willing to give him a chance. Our drafting in rnds 1-4 under Licht have been Impressive. Aguayo was the only head scratcher. ASJ has supreme talent but lacks mentality to fit that talent. Simms has been great when healthy. So out of 3 drafts. You have 1 mistake and 2 guys with talent to succeed but not the health or mentality. Stop complaining about everything. Let the kid show you what he can do. Licht has shown he knows talent

  59. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Fake News – DallasBuc informed everyone this morning that this was a horrible pick.

  60. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Bonzai, you need to find some more hobbies! I assume you’re retired to spend this much time on a football draft that you are in no way a part of the decision making process at OneBuc. I trust the guys that get paid a lot of many to actually make these decisions vs a guy with way too much time on his hands.

  61. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Money not many

  62. FutureBucsGM Says:

    His tackling ability?

    Remember y’all said that.

    Lock it in.

  63. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting that I read all these comments and can’t remember one that gave our coaches (and scouts) credit for knowing what they’re doing. Jason Licht didn’t make this pick in isolation … he had LOTS of input for sure. Bucs undoubtedly saw enough in Justin Evans to figure that they could develop him into an outstanding safety. And most likely a free safety IMO. He might start at the beginning of the year, but I personally doubt it. Things like learning the NFL ropes & improving tackling technique I’m sure take time & LOTS of practice. But as Jason Licht said in a recent interview: “We’re not necessarily taking guys to come in and play and contribute, and be an impact their first year.” Bucs are still in much better shape than at this time last year. Plus most of our secondary now has a year under its’ belt in Mike Smith’s system. We’ll be OK I’m sure.

  64. OneBuc55 Says:

    197 tackles in 2 years?

    If this is accurate information his tackling mishaps are over-blown imo…guys relax we just got a safety with great ball skills, good instincts, and at worst above average tackling ability…all Evans has to learn is there’s a time to go for the kill shot, and there’s a time to simply get the ball-carrier on the ground…his NFL coaches can help him with this; that said, I love the mentally…

  65. R.O. Says:

    I’m sorry but doesn’t every player have a lot of work to do to justify there draft status…. kind of an ambiguous statement not based on anything.

  66. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Mark mentions something that I’ve also seen in other reports: Evans has experience on returns where the Bucs coaches have struggled to find consistency. Still, let’s hope that he pans out as a starting safety.

  67. Duke Says:


    That’s a boatload of work your doing. But I noticed something missing. That is with all the work you put in grading the pick and comparing when they were picked vs where you projected they would be picked.

    You haven’t stated if you believe that first they’d actually make the team or not and if they did how much you predict they will contribute.

    Let’s face the facts, the draft is about selecting players who will first make the roster and then the degree to which they will contribute. When they were picked vs where they were projected is not how drafts are measured in terms of success or failure. What’s your opinion on who makes the team and who doesn’t. The player’s you see making the roster how about trying to predict the % of plays that each one is expected to play this season.

  68. tnew Says:

    iMO, Evans and Sabby are two very different players in two very different schemes.

    Sabby was the uber athlete. 6’3″ 225, 4.47 according to combine numbers. He was a second rate Obi. Sabby was set up to be a cover 2 strong safety. Based on what I understand, that had to be a highly intellectual, disciplined and instinctive player. Sabby was always incorrect in his gap integrity. I remember a discussion about how poor his “run fits” were and what that meant for the rest of the defense.

    Evans, I believe is ushering in a new style of Tampa safety. His tape is not typical of a Tampa style safety and he gets killed against power running teams, but he is very, very good in coverage. The Falcon’s board really wanted him and predicted that we would take him in the second and they are very upset about it. It is more indicative of what type of safety he is. This isn’t the walk down in the box guy. He is a poor man’s Malik Hooker but maybe not too poor. By the looks too his true 40 speed is closer to 4.4 than 4.6. It is tough to watch the tape tho. Close your eyes on the running plays but he is good versus the pass.

    I’m slowly selling myself on him. Watching some Myles Garrett tape to try to find him. One thing, he doesn’t get tested deep much if at all. His ball skills are really good. Looks like he could play slot corner from time to time as he did some at A&M.

  69. Brett Says:

    Hey Joe, put it on your calendar for 1, 3, and 5 years to compare Evans at pick #50 to DeMarcus Walker at pick #51. In 3 years, GMC will be on the decline, and DL was definitely a need. Evans hopefully will work out, but his attributes remind me of Mark Barron at safety. Admit, I haven’t seen Evans play, but I can about guarantee Walker will be close to ProBowl caliber. It seems like a rusher is harder to get than a safety, but I get the league is evolving due to rule changes. We’ll see. But I am not jumping up and down because we took Evans with DeMarcus Walker on the board.

  70. tnew Says:

    By every account I have seen, if his tackling were solid, he would have been a top 15 pick. Could be painful for awhile but turning to great if he cleans his tackling up. Putting the coaches to work. Going to be tough given the current NFL practice rules.

  71. DrHoagy Says:

    Go back and look at some of the comments made about another safety drafted by the Bucs. They didn’t know if he was a LB or Safety, he was slow, looked lost in coverage, was a shoulder tackler looking for big hit and missed too often. When he got to camp and started blowing people up he opened peoples eyes. He didn’t beat out a veteran safety and didn’t become the player most grew to love for the better part of two seasons. Dungy inherited him and didn’t like jim at first either.
    Yes, I talking about John Lynch. I’m not saying he will be another John Lynch but

  72. Cash Says:

    All these message board GM’s know so much more about players than the people who do it for a living yet none of tou work for apro football team. How is tha? Sure you acan YouTube highlights and repeat opinions you have heard but truth be told you are far from experts. Why not just relax and be what you are, a fan.

  73. Destinjohnny Says:


    This is the link for Justin in the Alabama game
    The good news is it’s not as bad as the lsu tape

  74. Kevinthepainterimagine Says:

    At least we know his poor tackling is not because hes scared to hit. The dude LOVES to smash people. I think this is going to a good pick down the road. I am jnterested to see is Ryan.Smith last years 4th rounder gets any playing time at corner this season

  75. DRFEELGOOD Says:

    Destinjohnny. Notice on some of those highlights how well OJ Howard blocks on those plays. Not just on Evans, but on whoever is in his path. I agree with those that say he has work to do, but not with those that say he was a bad pick. he’s a badass!! and with the coaching he’s about to get, versus the coaching at A&M, I feel great about this pick.

  76. BucsFanFromSaintsLand Says:

    I can’t wait til this kid prove ya’ll fake a** scouts wrong. All of a sudden, everyone knows how to break down “tape” and are certified scouts……FOH!!! Ya’ll take one perceived negative and just run with it. Calm the hell down! The guy hasn’t played one down in the NFL and ya’ll already bi**hing.

    WEAKNESSES Will have to make business decisions regarding when to bang and when to simply tackle in order to save his body. “Hulk smash” playing style led to 15 missed or broken tackles in 2015. Can be wild in space skating past his target. Field awareness can be hit or miss in coverage. Will lose track of deep ball responsibility from time to time. Won’t always turn and run early enough.

    Guess who???
    This guy had a pretty damn good rookie season. Probably graded out the highest amongst rookies.
    Hint: Was taken 1st round by a division rival in 2016

  77. Capt.Tim Says:

    Brett- Justin reminds you of Barron?
    No two players could be futher apart.

    Evans isnt a terrible Tackler. He just goes overkill to often. Easy coaching fix.

    And Im glad They signed former 1st round JJ Wilcox to play Strong Safety.
    He is one of the hardest hitters in the league. He needs some touch up on his technique.
    We have the Secondary coaches to make this pair great.

    And I trust Licht’s appraisal of these two, Far more than any (every) poster here

  78. Capt.Tim Says:

    Although I do think that the Bucs need to hire a Safeties coach.
    Jon Hoke and Brett Maxie are great coaches, but are more experienced as CB coaches.
    Be a good time to bring in a coach who specializes in Safteties

  79. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    They can coach him up on tackling and the proper angels to take. This kid is going to be great!!

  80. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Evans at CD and Wilcox at SS with Tandy and Conte as backups. Gives us a good core to start the season.

  81. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    FS not CD lol. Stupid autocorrect

  82. Owlykat Says:

    If Tandy had started at Safety all last year he would have a lot more than 4 interceptions which is how many Justin had last year. If the Bucs make Tandy a backup you will lose your best Safety next year, perhaps to our rivals who will know what a star they have and how to use him. Can’t say a lot for our Safety Coaches who let their best player whither away on the bench. It took the third year for the Bucs to see the best Safety in Buc’s history perfect his game. So you really think Justin will walk on the field and replace Tandy? With the holes Justin has in his game? I have watched every game the Bucs have played. I know why the Bucs have failed so often over the years. But you polyanas keep wishing you know a great Safety when you see one.

  83. DPewter Says:

    Tandy should start at SS and Evans has a more than fair chance at starting at the FS, if he can take better angles and wrap up.

  84. I'm a Tandy Man Bucs Fan Says:

    Funky Monkey…You got to be kidding. Tandy starts 5 games has 4 interceptions and led the team in tackles 3 or 4 of the games he started. One game had 12 tackles and you say he should be a backup to a Dallas Backup and a Rookie…..CMON MAN…. You need to get real. Tandy is your starter because he has earned it. No w Conte, Wilcox and Evans can battle it out to see who the other starter is but Tandy is no longer a Backup…..He will have the best season he has had in his career this season and you will end up having to eat those words Bubba!!!!