NFL.com draftnik Charles Davis released his second mock draft of the offseason last week and in it he has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans with the 15th overall selection in the first round.
Tall, rangy receiver who can run. He fits the Steelers’ need for bigger bodies at the position.
Davis has Evans as being the third wide receiver off the board with Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee both being drafted in the first 13 picks.
Just last week, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the Steelers have already indicated to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that they intend to draft him a “tall” wide receiver in the first few rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft. At around 6’5″, Evans certainly fits the “tall” label.
Here is what NFL.com has up now for a scouting report on Evans, who will be in Indianapolis this coming week to take part in the scouting combine:
STRENGTHS – Outstanding size and length. Functionally strong to power through the jam. Boxes out defenders and is a big red-zone target. Hardwood background is evident — outstanding leaper with “above-the-rim” skills to go over top of smaller DBs and highpoint throws. Creates late, subtle separation. Tracks and adjusts. Makes contested grabs — attacks throws and outmuscles defenders in a crowd. Nearly unstoppable executing back-shoulder catches. Strong, reliable hands. Very strong after the catch — slams into tacklers, is a load to bring down and leans for extra yardage. Productive playmaker — averaged 20 yards per catch in 2013 and showed up in big games (18-566-5 vs. Alabama and Auburn). Good blocker. Physically dominant and tough. Will be a 21-year-old rookie.
WEAKNESSES – Monotone mover with pedestrian speed — cannot separate vertically or pull away from the pack. Unsudden acceleration. Stiff hips. Will have to make a living in traffic at the next level — will struggle to separate vs. quick-twitch NFL cornerbacks. Did not run a full route tree and could require patience learning the nuances of refined route running. Backyard element to his college success — must become savvier instead of depending on superior size and improvisational production. Can be hotheaded and lose control of his emotions. Basketball was first love.
NFL COMPARISON – Vincent Jackson
BOTTOM LINE – A prep hoopster with shooting-guard size, Evans combined with Johnny Manziel to form one of the most dominant quarterback-receiver connections in the nation the last two seasons. He’s a big, physical, strong-handed, West Coast possession receiver with playmaking ability who projects as a No. 2 in the pros where he will make his money as a chain mover and red-zone target.
In case you are curious, Davis had the Steelers drafting Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley in his first mock draft that was released in the middle of January. He also had Evans going to the Baltimore Ravens in that mock just one pick later.