When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Justin Evans in the 2017 draft I remember seeing confused fans on social media wondering who in the world this guy was. I was excited, Evans was one of my favorite safeties in the draft.
A big hitting, playmaking, intimidating presence is something the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have needed for many years in their secondary. He is an athletic safety who was tagged as having a reputation of punishing defenders who crossed the middle.
By nature, Evans is a quiet playmaker. His persona and reputation fits in well with the Bucs.
The most remembered play of Evans career thus far is probably when he went toe-to-toe with Derrick Henry and came out on top. Not many players can say that.
Evans has a knack for making big plays. Another play which pops out from his collegiate days was his athletic interception against UCLA which ended the game. Evans seems to make plays you remember, and he continued to do so when he was drafted into the NFL.
Justin Evans wasn’t handed the starting job. He was set back briefly by an injury, but once he earned the job he never looked back.
Evans’ knack for making memorable plays continued, his first career interception was off the G.O.A.T himself: Tom Brady.
It was the storybook beginning to a career any defensive back could ask for. His next big play came when Evans came up big to end the Dolphins drive at the goal line.
The Dolphins were carving up the Bucs’ defense and Evans’ interception completely changed momentum. Tampa seized the momentum, and never looked back.
Jason Licht’s secondary steal finished his rookie season with 66 tackles and three interceptions. He may not get the national recognition like Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker but fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know him well.
There are multiple players on the current roster who don’t really get the national respect they deserve. The first players which come to mind are Lavonte David and Brent Grimes.
Both of those players are highly productive and among the most underrated players in the league at their positions. Evans fits right in with them.
If you watch an interview with Evans he is much like Grimes and David. They are men of few words and would rather let their play do the talking for them.
He has a long way to go to be an elite player, but the potential is there. As they say, winning solves everything. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can finally find a way to win, then credit will be due, and stars may be born.