The Bucs needed a safety heading into day 2 and most of us was hoping that somehow Budda Baker would fall to 50 but it didn’t happen. Oh well the Bucs went safety at 50 anyways with Texas AM Justin Evans who I wasn’t a fan of at first but starting to warm up to him after digging more. Evans is a true free safety with solid athleticism, ball skills, and range to cover sideline to sideline. My biggest issue with him is poor tackling technique and angle pursuit which he must improve to be a complete safety.
New Bucs safety Justin Evans ranked 3rd in the nation last season w/ a 90.2 coverage grade. He also ranked 3rd w/ 23 MTs. Very boom or bust.
— Vinnie Ronca (@PFF_Vinnie) April 29, 2017
He plays full speed all the time which is good and bad. He loves to go for the big hit but sometimes playing under more control would be better for him. I think has a chance to compete right away for a starting spot and would be a good fit as our free safety. Evans is versatile as he has the ability to play in the slot or deep middle which is good for Mike Smith and his defense. Evans also brings value to special teams with his ability to return kicks with a 28.5 yards per return. Jason Licht loves players who are versatile and that is Justin Evans.
Tackling issues aside, Evans was one of the most productive coverage safeties in the country, and clearly has the athletic makeup for the NFL. If he is able to improve his tackling technique and fix his footwork in coverage, he is likely to develop into a highly productive starter at the next level.
The Bucs needed to improve their pass defense especially deep middle and with Evans they might have done just that. He is one of the better coverage safeties in this draft and some draft experts had him going in round 1 at one point during the process. His 2015 tape is better than 2016 in which his game was overall better and had less missed tackles. If Mike Smith can put him in the right position and develop him properly with good coaching, then Evans could be something special down the road.
— Thomas Bassinger (@tometrics) April 29, 2017
I know their is a lot of mix reaction about this pick, but we have to trust Mr. Licht on this one. He has built this roster very well and for the most part has been right. Feel free to leave comments below and let me know what you think. Go Bucs!