Here's a brief look at a big, athletic wide receiver prospect the Browns could be targeting somewhere in the first round in Texas A&M's Mike Evans.
Mike Evans, Texas A&M, Sophomore
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 231 pounds
2013 stats: 69 receptions, 394 yards (20.2 average), 12 touchdowns
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 9th; Scout's Inc.: 7th;
Current overall projected draft position: Three of the four draft analysts at NFLDraftScout.com have Evans being selected seventh overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dane Bruger is the exception—he has Evans going 10th overall to the Detroit Lions, which could create an incredibly athletic wide receiver tandem with Calvin Johnson. Both ESPN.com draft analysts, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, have Evans going to the Buccaneers at No. 7 as well.
Overview: Evans made a name for himself as the favorite target of Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. He redshirted in 2011 as a freshman and then, along with Manziel, burst onto the national scene in 2012 and breaking multiple A&M freshman receiving records. As a sophomore, he was named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.
What they’re saying: Very physical as a receiver who uses his size … NFL-ready body, can box out defenders on hump balls … Excellent body control, sticky hands … Shows an ability to track passes over either shoulder … Excellent red-zone target. Does not possess elite burst but is smooth accelerator with deceptive straight-line speed … Long strider who does not possess the needed burst off the line of scrimmage to instantly challenge defenders … Able to dominate smaller corners in college but might struggle in NFL … Uses long arms, big frame effectively … Slower than ideal getting in and out of breaks … Separation comes in the form of boxing out … Big, strong hands … Top-end speed is very competitive for size … Winds up hauling in extremely high percentage of jump balls.
How he fits into the Browns’ plans: Should the Browns draft Evans, there’s a reasonably high chance that it’s not at No. 4 overall, though it’s possible. Evans is a different style of receiver from Clemson’s Sammy Watkins—Evans is a jump-ball and red-zone nightmare while Watkins is a burner and open-field threat. The Browns might prefer the size over the acceleration, though Watkins is most often viewed as the better prospect. Just about every analyst under the sun has Evans being selected No. 7 overall, so it’s not much of a “reach,” especially if Watkins is off the board. If the Browns trade down—Atlanta at No. 6 is one possibility depending how the board plays out—Evans becomes more a value and would create quite the tandem with Josh Gordon. A receiving corps of Gordon, Evans, Andrew Hawkins and Jordan Cameron would set up whoever is starting at quarterback quite nicely.