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Friday, Oct 24, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Analysts: Bucs in good hands with WR Evans

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Published:   |   Updated: May 12, 2014 at 02:09 PM

— So, what did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers really get in first-round draft pick Mike Evans?

Well, the general belief is that they got a virtual clone of Vincent Jackson, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound wide receiver who can win the mismatches he creates with his size by out-leaping rival cornerbacks and safeties.

But it takes more than just the ability to out-leap an opponent to win all those jump balls thrown Evans’ way. It takes strong, sure hands, too, and Evans’ might be as good as any in the league.

That, at least, is the assessment of former Dallas Cowboys executive and current NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt, who expressed that viewpoint long before Evans became the newest weapon in the Bucs’ arsenal.

“Mike Evans has the best hands I’ve seen since Calvin Johnson,’’ Brandt wrote in a tweet on March 27.

Brandt isn’t the only talent evaluator who likes Evans’ hands. Nolan Nawrocki, for years the senior editor of Pro Football Weekly, expressed a similar opinion in 2014 NFL Draft Preview.

“Strong, reliable hands. Nearly unstoppable executing back-shoulder catches,’’ Nawrocki wrote.

If good hands were something the Bucs were targeting in this draft, they appear to have succeeded in finding them. According to Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht, Evans isn’t the only newcomer who can boast of having good hands.

In summing up the skill set of Evans, second-round tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and third-round running back Charles Sims on Friday, Licht said, “I think those guys were the three with the best set of hands in the draft.’’

rcummings@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @RCummingsTBO

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