Wide receiver Shaq Evans is entering a very nice scenario as he transitions from college football to the pros. The rookie out of UCLA has so far looked pretty impressive at rookie minicamp and is looking like he’ll be able to immediately contribute to his team this upcoming season.
When the New York Jets drafted him in the 2014 NFL Draft, they knew it needed to bolster its wide receiving corps with speed, skill and most importantly of all, play-making athletes. Evans fits this mold and more as he is one of the fastest rookies to hit the Jets offense. He’s a decent blocker but excels mostly in route running and being able to make plays anywhere on the football field.
At the current moment the Jets are trying to find the best receivers to put on the field to improve from dismal results last season. They went out and signed Eric Decker to be its premiere receiver and veteran Jacoby Ford as veteran insurance. Evans has a good shot at getting some good playing time on the field as the Jets will explore many different types of offensive packages and schemes to see what works the best. Don’t forget the Jets also still have veterans Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson, who will do their best to prove their respective worth in 2014.
General manager John Idzik‘s ultimate plan was to rebuild mainly through the draft since it builds for the future. Drafting receivers like Evans, Jalen Saunders and Quincy Enunwa will hopefully help the Jets put more points on the scoreboard. Since the NFL has become a league dominated by the passing game, the team needed to join the party and start having some big threats at wide receiver. So far on paper this year, they have certainly done their job.
If Evans can have a strong enough training camp, and prove that he’s better than some of the veterans around him that didn’t do much last season, expect to see him get some actual starting time at some point. He’s exactly what the Jets need and should be a pleasant surprise in his rookie campaign. Many predict he could be a hidden gem in the works.