Evans comes in at 6-foot-1 and 213 pounds. He was an All-Pac 12 honorable mention in 2012 and 2013. Evans led the team in receptions during those two seasons with 60 in 2012 and 47 in 2013 and finished his career tied for 10th all-time on the school’s list of receptions with a total of 126. He was suspended for one game during the 2011 season after he participated in a fight against Arizona.
Evans transferred to UCLA in 2010 after he played for Notre Dame for one season.
Scouts have said that Evans has good size, but has average body control. CBSSports.com’s draft profile projected him as a third or fourth round selection.
Bent, TheJetsBlog.comEvans is another fast receiver with kick return abilities, as the Jets have now selected pass catchers with three of their first five picks. To an extent, there is some overlap between this pick and the Jalen Saunders pick earlier in this round, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Doubling up on draft picks is an interesting approach to the “too many picks, not enough roster spots” quandary. It’s something I first noticed the 49ers doing back in 2005. It gives you two chances to fill a position and you can pit the two players against one another in camp with the hope that whoever wins can fill that role. However, with his superior size, Evans does bring something different to the table and has more chance of developing into a conventional starting receiver. We therefore shouldn’t be ruling out both players finding a niche and contributing in the years to come.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comAfter nabbing a the mighty mite Jalen Saunders at the top of the fourth round, the Jets dipped back into the receiver pool and took the muscular and rangy Shaq Evans. For a large receiver, Evans takes long strides and can accelerate quickly to roll past defensive backs even when they are playing off-man coverage.
He’s a proficient route runner and he can beat press coverage with either his quickness as well as his upper body strength. Evans relishes getting physical with defensive backs and has a good target size to adjust to errant passes.
Where Evans struggles are in his pass-catching. He won’t be able to create regular separation at the NFL and so he’ll need to rely more on his physicality and he doesn’t have the best vision, anticipation and he can fight the football at times and has had some focus drops during his time in the NCAA.
With his size, speed and physical gifts Evans seems like a player who might take some time to develop as an NFL receiver, but given a year or two in an NFL offense if he can attack the mental aspect of the game he could be a productive player.
Overall the Jets have done a good job in layering pieces to this offense through free agency and the draft. There’s no Sammy Watkins level talent, but many competent pieces that could come together well in the right hands.
As far as WR Stephen Hill? His back is now firmly to the wall. There’s going to be a lot more competition for roster spots than there was for him a year ago. It is going to be up to him to demonstrate to his coaches and front office why there’s still a spot for him on this team moving forward.