Where Mike Evans Wins
Mike Evans is at his best when testing defenses vertically down the field. He has better vertical speed than given credit for, and can create a sliver of separation for his quarterback. He tracks the deep ball exceptionally well, and due to his other worldly length for the position, he has a ginormous catch radius to the point where he can adjust to errant throws down the field.
Evans is also the best wide receiver in this class at "boxing out" defenders. By this I mean he is able to use his massive frame and length to position himself against the defender to give him the best chance to catch the ball. Evans has hands like glue, with hand-eye coordination, and can combine this with his box out ability to dominate at the catch point. He has astounding body control and times all of his leaps very well.
He can also create good yards after the catch with the ball in his hands, showing very good spatial awareness to set up defenders in space, and very good long speed. Once he gets a head of steam, he is virtually impossible to bring down in space due to his combination of size, strength, and speed.
Where Mike Evans Needs To Improve
Despite having good linear speed for his size, Evans lacks short area quickness almost completely. This severely limits him as a route runner, as he struggles with stopping in each of his breaks, sinking his hips in the ground, and planting efficiently. Evans is not really a player that you can be creative with, route wise. He does not have the stop-and-go ability for screens and underneath routes, or the route-running potential for breaking routes. He will be primarily a deep post, corner, and "Go" route wide receiver.
Due to the lack of quickness in Evans game, he will also struggle heavily in getting open versus off-coverage. He simply can not eat up a defender's quickness quick enough and he is an easy target for a defender to break on in the short zone due to his lack of smooth stop-and-go ability.
Despite his size and strength and obvious physicality, Evans also struggles with contact throughout the route. When pinned to the sideline, Evans had issues adjusting or tracking the ball.
Evans is the epitome of a "Where He Wins" player. He will not be for every scheme or quarterback. There are a lot of things he is below average at. But for the things he does do well, such as high-pointing the ball or stretching the field vertically, he is among the best in the class an translates to the next level very well.
Grade: 6.75, Early 2nd Round.