Mike Evans has the kind of intangibles that make NFL scouts drool.
The wide receiver from Texas A&M is 6-foot-5, 231 pounds, and still has breakaway speed to beat defenses over the top. He is an imposing target that plays with an edge, and he thinks that Baltimore could be a quality landing spot for his game-changing skill set.
“They’re a big physical team, and I’m a big, physical receiver, so I think I’d fit their scheme real well,” Evans said Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Ravens have been linked to Evans in a number of mock drafts, and he said that he met with them at the combine. Adding a receiver is an offseason priority for the Ravens, and this year’s draft class is loaded with them.
“There are a lot of great receivers in this draft, don't get me wrong, but I feel I'm the best one,” Evans said. “I'm a fan of a lot of the other receivers in this draft. I haven't seen a draft stacked like this with receivers in a long time.”
Evans is expected to get picked in the middle of the first round, but his draft stock could be on the rise after an impressive performance at the combine. One of the biggest questions for him heading into the combine was his speed, but he eased some of those concerns by running the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds.
He has also spent the last few months working to refine his route running. He has worked with Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton in San Diego to polish his game ahead of pre-draft workouts.
“Everybody can improve on route running. That's a quality to have. My freshman year, I felt my route running wasn't as good,” Evans said. “This past year, I felt I improved. But I have a high ceiling. I think I'm one of the best players in this draft and I think I can just keep getting better.”
Even if his routes need some development, Evans still has the raw skills that make him a dangerous receiver. He size allows him to take advantage of smaller cornerbacks in jump ball situations, and he also had the ability to make tough catches in traffic.
Evans was highly productive at Texas A&M, and last year he had 69 catches for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his two years at Texas A&M, Evans racked up 2,499 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns on 151 catches.
Evans jumped onto the national scene after a standout performance this year against Alabama, where he caught seven passes for 279 yards and a touchdown.
“They play a lot of man coverage, so to us, that's disrespectful,” Evans said about facing Alabama. “We worked all week getting off man coverage, and it worked out.”
Evans plays with some chippiness in his game, and it’s not unusual to see him jawing with defenders during games. He didn’t shy away from that reputation when asked about it at the combine.
“DBs are always trying to get in my head, so I counter it, talk a little noise to them. I do anything I can to have an advantage on the field,” Evans said. “I talk way more on the field than I do with the media. I seem like a quiet guy to the media, but on the field, I talk a little noise.”
Adding Evans to the Ravens would give them a playmaker to pair with speedy receiver
“I will transition real well,” Evans said. “I think I will thrive in an NFL offense.”