There are several reasons that the Detroit Lions should pass on Mike Evans should he be available when they select with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
First off, while many people have fallen in love with his production in college and his 40-yard dash time at the Scouting Combine, I have serious questions about his ability to run routes at the NFL level.
Evans not only benefited from playing pitch and catch with Johnny Manziel in college, but from Texas A and M's spread offense as well.
|Mike Evans has several red-flags that scream "NFL bust."|
And if there's one variable that can be used to predict which college WR's will turn into busts in the NFL, it's receivers who played in a spread offenses and never learned a pro-style route tree.
While Evans had a pretty good career in college using his size and running to specific spots to get open, my biggest concern after watching his film is his quickness and burst coming out of his breaks, and that scares the shit out of me considering that Mike Williams had similar limitations.
|If this picture doesn't make you vomit in your mouth I don't know what will...And I'm not even talking about the Lions' busts at WR, I'm talking about Matt Millen's "Raidered up" black jerseys.|
Speaking of size, my next concern is Evans' fit in the Lions' offense. With Calvin Johnson, Joseph Fauria, Kris Durham and (maybe) Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit has no shortage of tall receivers.
Now if Detroit is looking for a long term replacement for Calvin Johnson, I get it.
But if Detroit is just looking for a complimentary #2 WR, they might want to look at someone who's a little quicker and can easily beat the single coverage he'll likely see opposite of Megatron with his route running, whether he's playing in the slot or as the "Z" receiver.
Which brings us to the opportunity cost of drafting a WR in the 1st Round, or what you'd be giving up, relatively speaking, to select one.
With this draft being deep at WR but thin when it comes to lock down corners, the Lions need to consider trading down or drafting a CB like Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard in the 1st Round, because the CB's that will be available when they select in the 2nd Round will represent a significant drop in talent.
On the other hand, this is perhaps the deepest WR draft ever, with a "plug and play" safe option like Jordan Mathews of Vanderbilt who is expected to be available when the Lions select in the 2nd Round at pick #45.
|While Jordan Matthews played in a pseudo spread offense at Vanderbilt, he demonstrated excellent route running ability at The Senior Bowl|
Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe the Lions talent evaluators think Mike Evans is a sure thing.
Then again, maybe I'm right about his red flags, in which case not only would the Lions miss out on the lock down CB that they truly need, they could also be looking at their third WR bust with a top ten pick in the last 11 years, and their sixth when it comes to drafting WR's the first three rounds.