The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans with their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Evans will pair with Vincent Jackson to give Josh McCown a pair of large receivers capable of consistently making contested catches, as he had in Chicago last year. The Bucs passed on Johnny Manziel to do so.
Evans is a 6'5, 231 lbs. receiver who's eerily similar to Vincent Jackson. While he isn't the fastest receiver, his stride length allows him to consistently get behind defensive backs, and he uses his big body well to consistently win jump balls. While he's not the explosive, yards-after-catch receiver the Bucs ideally want, he'll be a very productive receiver for them, provide an instant boost to their offense, and could be the future replacement for Vincent Jackson.
Here's what Matthew Fairburn of Mocking the Draft had to say about him:
Evans grades out as one of the ten best players in the draft on our latest big board. He's the type of receiver who instantly makes his quarterback better. The skills he used to make plays in college all translate to the NFL. He already learned how to win when he wasn't the fastest player on the field. That's only going to help him as he transitions to the NFL and learns how to use his physical tools to out-muscle defensive backs for passes.
The Bucs still need to find an offensive guard in this draft, and they may look to add a quarterback at some point as well. For now, Evans is a pretty good addition to an offense that needs an infusion of talent, though.
While the Buccaneers may have used their first-round pick, don't look away: they could still trade back into the first round, and we'll have a lot of analysis of this draft pick coming up right here on Bucs Nation.