As the ball left Johnny Manziel’s hands, everyone in Razorback Stadium instantly thought: Interception. But as the ball wobbled into triple coverage, 72,000 fans were wrong. A Texas A&M wide receiver miraculously came down with the ball for a touchdown. His name: Mike Evans.
Mike Evans has established himself as one of the elite wide receivers in college football. Last year as a redshirt freshman, Evans caught 82 passes for 1,105 yards and 5 touchdowns. This year, he has once again proven he cannot be stopped. He currently has 65 receptions, 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns. Mike Evans is having the best season of any wide receiver in college football. CBS Sports currently has Mike Evans sitting at number eight on their prospect ratings. But the big question is whether Evans will be able to continue his success in the NFL. The answer: Yes.
Size: What do Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall all have in common? They are all 6’4" or taller. Mike Evans is another massive wide receiver listed at 6’5" and 225 pounds by ESPN. This alone makes Evans a very difficult matchup for NFL cornerbacks who are much smaller. Evans is also a former basketball standout at Galveston High School where, according to ESPN, he had offers from Auburn and Wichita State. This contributes to Evan’s outstanding leaping ability. On many occasions, Manziel just throws to ball up for Evans to go get.
Highlights of Mike Evans vs. Arkansas:
Mike Evans vs Arkansas 2013 (via JPDraftJedi)
Clutch: Mike Evan’s best games have come when his team needed him the most. He dominated Alabama’s secondary earlier in the year posting 279 yards and a touchdown against the number two defense in the country. Later against Auburn, he had an even better game with 287 yards and four touchdowns. Even in Texas A&M’s loss to Vanderbilt, Evans caught two passes for touchdowns. Evans has not been inflating his stats off bad teams. In fact, he has played his best when playing against the top programs.
Highlights of Mike Evans vs. Alabama:
Mike Evans vs Alabama 2013 (via JPDraftJedi)
Highlights of the Texas A&M vs Auburn:
10 19 2013 Auburn vs Texas A&M Football Highlights (via Colby Jones)
Blocking: One of the most underrated qualities in wide receivers is their ability to block. Evans is a very physical receiver who is not afraid to throw his body in front of cornerbacks. He has greatly improved from last year in providing run support for Texas A&M. Evan’s huge frame makes it harder for defensive backs to shed him.
Negatives: The only knock on Evans is his speed. ESPN currently has Mike Evans running a 4.6 second 40 yard dash. But, what Evans lacks in speed, he makes up for in size. His huge frame allows him to block defenders and go up for the catch.
NFL player comparison: Vincent Jackson