THE X-FACTOR: Bucs WR Mike Evans

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans was the seventh player taken in the NFL draft, after the Falcons selected offensive tackle Jake Matthews with the sixth pick.

Evans, 6-foot-5, 231 pounds, is starting to show signs that will be a force and will be the X-factor for Sunday’s game.

He has seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-17 loss to Cleveland last week. He has 32 catches for a team-leading 460 yards and four touchdowns.

The Falcons’ pass defense has been shoddy. They have a league-low seven sacks and have allowed 280.8 yards passing per game, which ranks 30th in the league.

Evans and veteran Vincent Jackson could pose major problems.

“They have real good corners in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford,” Evans said. “Alford is real physical. Trufant is real crafty and real smart.”

In the Falcons’ 56-14 victory Sept. 18, Evans was held in check.

Evans was targeted on seven passes and caught four for 52 yards, including a 36-yarder. Jackson caught two for 15 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted on nine passes.

“They gave us fits in the first game, so we are looking to bounce back and have a good game against them,” Evans, who played with Matthews at Texas A&M.

Jackson has been helpful to the rookie.

“He’s a great player,” Evans said. “He gets us going. He’s one of the captains. For me, he’s been great to be around. He’s been a great mentor so far. I can’t thank him enough.”

Evans size, leaping ability and sure hands make him tough to cover.

“He’s a threat,” Trufant said. “He’s been a threat. Big target, can jump, can run. He’s picking it up. We’ve just got to prepare this week and go out here and make plays.”