The 2014 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching and we will continue to place a spotlight on some possible day one draft prospects for the San Francisco 49ers. One thing that I will not rule out is a trade up especially if the 49ers place a priority on a top prospect. The team has an abundance of picks which will give them the ammunition to move up in the draft. Lets take a look at one of the day one 49ers draft prospects that could be a trade up target. Next up is Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. Trading up to get a player like Evans wouldn’t be a bad idea in the least. Evans is almost a perfect match for the 49ers.
The first thing that stands out about Mike Evans is his big body. He has a thick frame and is solid throughout. Evans can use his body to create separation and shield the defender from the ball. He has a basketball background that helps him understand spacing and getting positioning in the red zone or in any jump ball situation.
“My game will transition real well. I will thrive in the NFL. I can move around, play a little slot. My basketball experience has helped a lot. When a jump ball in the air, I treat it like a rebound. Helps me in off press, I can use my quickness from when I used to dribble. I like man coverage. When I face it, I have career days. I have a high ceiling. There’s a lot of great receivers in this draft but I feel I am the best one.”
Evans is nearly unstoppable on back shoulder throws. He has the ability to high point the ball and make contested catches in a crowd. This is what makes him such a big time vertical and red zone threat. It is clear that he has strong hands especially at the catch point. Often times he just simply overpowers defenders while snatching the ball out of the air. Evans also has the great ability to break tackles. His size makes him a load to bring down but even more important is his killer instinct. It seems as if Evans relishes contact and will slam into would be tacklers. He was used quite a bit on tunnel screens and showed some break away speed on a few long receptions.
How will he help the 49ers? Evans would instantly upgrade the red zone efficiency. His big body is built for the rugged style of play in the NFC West. Richard Sherman has been a thorn in the 49ers side and in Evans, they get a young, ultra competitive receiver that presents a physical mismatch. Evans is also a very willing blocker. He will use his size to move defensive backs out of the way for Frank Gore and company. The vertical passing game is something that Colin Kaepernick looks to very often. Evans has the size, speed and jumping ability to be a threat on all deep passes. He would be a very nice target for Kaepernick running the post from the slot on play action. Evans also understands how to help his quarterback out when plays break down. He will work his way back to the quarterback or turn his route up field when need be. This is something that he and Johnny Manziel excelled at in college. Kaepernick is a similar type of quarterback that will run to pass and when he does, Evans would be the ultimate target for him.
NFL Comparison: Vincent Jackson. Like Jackson, Evans has tremendous size but surprises defensive backs with his vertical speed. Both of these players have a “Deebo” like mentality when the ball is in the air. They feel that it is only meant for them and will fight like crazy to catch it. Jackson is one of the best in the NFL at making contested catches. He is a chain mover that can use his big body on all inside breaking routes.
6-5 231 pounds
35 1/8 inch arms
9 5/8 inch hands
4.53 40 yd dash
4.26 20 yd shuttle
37.0 inch vertical
12 reps bench press
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