It's not yet June, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are nearly done getting their 2017 draft class under contract. On Thursday, following the team's third OTA practice of the week, second-round safety Justin Evans took a trip upstairs at One Buccaneer Place to sign his first NFL deal.
Photos of Bucs S Justin Evans at Rookie Mini-Camp.
The Buccaneers got the process rolling on Monday by agreeing to a contract with first-round tight end O.J. Howard. The next day, third-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith, fifth-round running back Jeremy McNichols and seventh-round defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu all inked their first NFL deals. With Evans now under contract, the lone unsigned player on Tampa Bay's roster is third-round wide receiver Chris Godwin, and he probably won't remain unsigned for long.
Evans, who starred at Texas A&M for two seasons after transferring from Mississippi Gulf Coast College, was the 50th player drafted overall. A rangy athlete who can patrol centerfield but also deliver a hard hit, he started all 13 games for the Aggies last year and delivered 87 tackles, four interceptions and eight pass deflections. On the night Evans was drafted, General Manager Jason Licht praised the young player's toughness, anticipation and ball skills.
Evans is expected to battle for a starting position with veterans Chris Conte, Keith Tandy and J.J. Wilcox.