Mike Evans was a surprise to all Texas A&M fans during his career in Aggieland. A high school basketball player at Galveston Ball, Evans decided late in the process that he wanted to play football at the next level and Mike Sherman decided to take a flyer on the outstanding athlete.
After redshirting his his year on campus, Evans saw a coaching change with Kevin Sumlin now at the helm as well as a quarterback that would go in to win the Heisman Trophy in Johnny Manziel. Those factors, combined with his incredible skillset, allowed him to be one of the top wide receivers in college football for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, racking up 151 receptions for 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns in only two years.
Evans went on to become a Top 10 pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has earned multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Earlier this month, he signed a contract extension that made him the second-highest paid receiver in the NFL.
Christian Kirk, on the other hand, came to Aggieland with a lot more fanfare. A five-star recruit out of the state of Arizona in the class of 2015, he graduated a semester early, went through spring ball at A&M and came away with a starting spot almost immediately.
Before declaring early for the NFL Draft, the 5-foot-10, 201-pound wideout finished his three-year career No. 2 in career receptions at the school and No. 3 in both receiving yards and touchdowns. He would have easily shattered all three records if he had stayed for another year.
Unlike with Evans when he came out, though, Kirk’s draft stock seems to be on the decline heading into the actual NFL Draft in late April. Though he tested well in Indianapolis in the 40, teams do not seem high on this year’s receiver crop at all and Kirk seems to be pegged as a player that can only play in the slot – a position not deemed as valuable as outside receivers in the league. Many of the latest mock drafts do not have Kirk going in the first round. If those mock drafts hold true, Evans thinks teams are making a big mistake.
“[Kirk] should be a first-rounder,” Evans told TexAgs radio. “Whoever gets him is getting a really good player. He’s far ahead of me when I was in college as far as acting like a professional in everything he does.”
While Kirk is normally very calculated with his words, you can bet that, if teams pass on him for the entire first round, he will remember and use it as motivation throughout his career.
Brian Perroni | 247Sports