Texas A&M S Justin Evans - Photo by Brad Marquardt
The Bucs went into the NFL knowing they wanted to upgrade the safety position and did that on Friday night with the selection of Texas A&M’s Justin Evans in the second round (No. 50 selection).
Evans (6-0, 199) is known as a physical punisher who packs a wallop with every hit. The Mississippi native, who was a baseball pitcher in high school, finished with 165 tackles, 14 pass breakups and five interceptions over the last two seasons for the Aggies.
Evan also returned 17 kicks for 474 yards over the previous two seasons, averaging 27.9 yards per kickoff return.
Tampa Bay goes into the 2017 offseason with Keith Tandy most likely a starter, with Chris Conte and J.J. Wilcox battling with Evans. Wilcox was signed as a fee agent from the Cowboys last March and Conte was also re-signed as the Bucs chose to allow Bradley McDougald to walk.
PewterReport.com’s Trevor Sikkema had to this to say in our safety draft preview.
“Evans is the next heavy hitter in this class. He has a highlight tape full of big hits that include Heisman trophy winner, and a player who out-weighs him by nearly 50 pounds, Derrick Henry. He’s not as good in coverage as Jackson, but he can lay the wood.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Didn’t we need a safety that was good in coverage ???
Bad value, reach and a walking penalty.
Can’t support this pic.
Now I will definitely be paying attention to how well Obi plays. I trust in our meathead scout.
Nothing wrong with this pick. Go Bucs!
Yuck reached for this pick, oj high to Evans low. When JuJu was there🙄
Watched about 5min of 1 game and he missed 5 or 6 tackles. Does not look good.
Watch more games of Evans for more nuggets aka turds.
I think it’s an okay pick, but with Demarcus Walker from FSU still on the board and drafted a pick later I’m a little disappointed.
Agree completely Pink. This guy sounds like another Barron and that really worked out for us.
I am not excited for this pick. I’d rather see Ryan smith at safety than this guy.
A hard hitting 5’11” 199lbs who runs 4.6 is average at best.. then we pass on the barely human 6’4″ 220lb obi who runs 4.4 with 44″ vertical and 141″ broad jumps. (141″!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Who is going to Match up with Julio jones next year ? We have no size or speed in our secondary.
Stats are just numbers. This guy may be a football player. Or…maybe not.
stats are stats but a 44″ vertical is a 44″ vertical.. Obi has the second longest broad jump recorded at the NFL combine…on a guy that is 6’4″ with blazing speed.. he might win a few jump balls here and there.
Big bodies cover up small receivers. Just saying… obi takes passing lanes/trajectories away with his length, speed, and jumping capacity. Could also be cross-trained at boundary corner (e.g. where the QB has to throw to the far hash.. it’s a much longer throw) as well as press-man or 3-safety packages in the red zone.
bottom line.. Obi can outjump anyone in the NFL, is big enough to cover any TE in the league, while being fast enough to run with the shifty slot corners. Evans has none of these things but we’ll see…
just really wanted Obi :\
I have to agree.
Put Ryan Smith back at safety, because this guy is the definition of boom or bust.
Licht’s record of 2nd round selecting is not getting better…i think I prefer Aguyao…
I preferred Jackson because he could fly. If only he could catch and not dislike contact.
We still need a long snapper, but we’re out of picks!
Everyone said we needed a safety, and when we pick one no ones happy. At 6 ft 199 he has size, can return kicks, so assume he has speed. Four picks, and defended more passes then any college safety, played in the big time SEC. No ones happy. Yes, he’s a buzz kill after last nights coup, but let’s give him a chance. Lynch was a bust till he became Lynch.
He’s undersized for the record. Same weight as Tabor the CB at UF who played opposite Hargreaves. He misses tackles…doesn’t know how to wrap up. He has good ball skills but is slow. Sucks in coverage too. I’ll wait to see how he plays, but I don’t think he is on the roster in 4 years.
I don’t know much about this guy but from what I’ve heard that was a bit of a reach, especially with Obi behind him and Demarcus walker still there. Hell Jordan Willis was still there. I thought for sure the bucs were going edge rusher after the first round.
We’ll have to let this one play out, but i”m a little hesitant on this one. Licht’s second rounder could come under fire again.
How is 6ft 199 undersized? Slow? He returned kicks at A&M, and I read he has good quickness allowing him to play in the slot. I’m not an expert, none of us are. Could we have made a better pick? Who the F knows. Certainly not me, certainly not you. All I do know is no one is paying us to hit the road for a 150 days scouting,then watching 100’s of hours of tape on these kids. Howard’s production in college isn’t that good, no ones bitching about him. I’ll save any judgement on any of these kids till seasons end. Until then, none of us have a clue as to what that will be.
Undersized relative to some of the guys that were picked in the same round at the same position: Maye 216 lbs; Obi 224 lbs; Jones 220 lbs. The Evans pick is a reach. I do watch a lot of SEC football, and this guy is what I said. Big hitter, inconsistent tackler, great ball skills although often not in the right place. Godwin is a good player, just not the biggest need imo given that they had gone out and got Jackson and Howard. I still think our line is substandard. Evans was a position of need so you can’t make that criticism (like you can of Goodwin). Of course none of know exactly how these guys will play. Howard’s stats weren’t great but he played in an offense with a poor throwing QB with a head coach who liked to run the ball. Your Howard argument is weak. I get the feeling like you think no one has the right to share their feelings. Why have a comment board if it’s all rosy all the time?
Another bad pick by this GM the laughing stock of the league. Another slow mo DB. He’s a good chaser, who gives that late dive at the 5 yard line.
Another bad pick? Laughing Stock of the league with a 9-7 record. He took over a failing program and righted it. I don’t know what you’re smoking, but I want about 5 pounds of it.
Since some of you like numbers as proof of a persons skill. this guy is a great fit for Tampa’s scheme. According to PFF Evans’ 2 coverage grade ranked third-best among FBS safeties in 2016. In his final nine games, he gave up just 19 catches on 32 targets for 107 yards and had two interceptions and six pass break-ups.
Good stuff chef.
What a bunch of whiners. Just like I predicted. Folks will bemoan any player whose name is comparatively unfamiliar. The Obi kid is noteworthy because of his physical attributes. But can he play?
Evans was primarily a baseball player who is really just starting to develop as a football player. He has an aggressive demeanor that can’t be taught. Hmmmm, who does that sound like? People didn’t like the selection of John Lynch either. Too small? He’s the typical size of a safety.
Licht made the point last night, we can’t pick 28 players. Ronde Barber thought he would get cut. None of these players are finished products. I like the fact he fought his way up from junior college to A&M. Seems to be the theme of this draft. All fighters, all love football, all team first good team mates. Kid has a ways to go, but I think he can be special. I’ve always wanted a GM who took players from the SEC. Licht seems to get the fact it’s better grabbing kids close to home who are use to Southern conditions. Let’s not forget, there will be UDFA’s in the coming days who can fill some more needs.
Agreed surfer. All I see is people complaining over these kids that they know nothing about. I trust in his picks and he played really well the last half of the season. Of course you can’t make all these fans happy. This Gm has put us in position to go from 2 wins to 9 in just three years. Suck it up people.
Not a fan of this pick, hard hitters get flags in today’s NFL. Seems like we reached to draft a guy that won’t be better than McDougald who we should’ve retained. Obi, Willis and Tabor all were better fits. Again he hits on the no brainers like OJ then follows it up with this years Aguayo lol. By mid season we will be hearing “he won’t hesitate to move on from a bad pick” As it that justifies it.
Unknown to the general public doesn’t necessarily equate to being a bad pick. Hell, I don’t think all that many people in the general public knew about this guy named Kwon who got picked in the 4th round…
We needed safety help and we got it. The guy is a good hitter who misses tackles. Technique can be taught, especially now that he’s a professional with his 100% focus on the game.
Could he be a bust? Sure, but then again so could Howard. Too many armchair GMs on this site second guessing the guy who brought us Evans, Winston, Marpet, and Alexander all within 3 drafts.
These type of safties go in the 4th/5th round with such huge flaws.
if obi is so good an have know weakness,why he did not go in round 1
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