When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted safety Justin Evans out of Texas A&M they addressed a position of need and found a young man who appears to be growing into a fan favorite.
Well, among some of the underselling and lowballing predictions circling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of 2018, Evans is one of the young players seeing a little hype growing around him individually.
Our own Derek Quesenberry recently submitted his thoughts on Evans and his path towards becoming yet another young leader on the Bucs defense and it seems he’s not alone in his high hopes for the second-year safety.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com recently published his predictions for each NFC franchise relating to one player who might crack the Pro Bowl rosters this upcoming season.
For the Bucs, his pick was Evans, writing,
"“Evans is a very athletic player with cover skills and great instincts. In 14 games as a rookie (11 starts) he had 66 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defensed.”"
Tampa had four defenders reel in three interceptions in 2017 with Evans joining fellow defensive backs Brent Grimes and Robert McClain as well as Keon Alexander all tied for the team lead in the category.
His 66 tackles came in second only to fellow safety Chris Conte amongst the members of the secondary, and placed him fifth on the defense in total.
Not bad for a first act.
All three showed they can be serious contributors to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ future, and all three have a solid hype train building with each of their names on them.
There was some surprise this off-season when Jason Licht chose not to draft any pure safeties in the NFL Draft, instead opting to draft defensive back prospects who could factor in to the secondary in a number of ways.
Of course, this lends validity to the thought that the Bucs will likely enter training camp with a starting safety tandem consisting of returning players instead of inserting a first-year name in the defensive backfield.
Not everyone was happy about it, but if the front-four sees a boost in their own play after adding several key players to the rotation, then we might just see Evans and whoever his running mate is also experience increased efficiency this year.
Will it result in a Pro Bowl appearance? We’re way too early to predict those things with any accuracy. But if I had to pick one guy, Evans would not be a bad choice to see a Tampa Bay Buccaneers player get his first trip to the all-star game.