Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith spent a lot of time just watching football during his year away from the game in 2013. One of the things he noticed was the difficulty defenses have stopping two big wideouts. “It’s a tough matchup for them,’’ Smith said. “It’s as simple as that.’’ Smith made a point Thursday of creating just such a matchup for Buccaneers’ opponents by selecting Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans with the seventh overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay passed on a chance to select Evans’ college teammate, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Smith quickly pointed out that he believes his team is set at the quarterback position. And not just for now. “It’s about what’s best for us,’’ Smith said when asked about passing on Manziel, who was selected 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns. “You talk about our quarterback position, to me it’s as strong as any quarterback position that I’ve had as a head coach. “You know how much I like Josh McCown as our starter here. But I love Mike Glennon. And Mike Glennon is our quarterback of the future here. So why would we want to add a third quarterback to the mix? We needed other positions.’’ The greatest of those needs was wide receiver. Following the trade of wideout Mike William to the Bills earlier in the offseason, the Bucs were left with just one starting-caliber wideout. That was the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Vincent Jackson, their leading pass catcher each of the past two years. Now, Jackson will be teamed with a virtual clone in the 6-5, 231-pound Evans. “We have our twin towers now,’’ Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “We couldn’t be happier to have him on our team. This is what we wanted.’’ It appears to be what Evans wanted, too. He had a feeling he was being targeted by the Bucs as the draft approached and considers himself “blessed’’ to be chosen by them. “I was hoping I’d go to Tampa, because I feel it’s a great fit for me,’’ said Evans, who broke down in tears after his name was announced by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Bucs pick WR Evans with No. 7 draft pick
Tampa Tribune | May 9