Let's use today's 2014 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at a player who very well could be on the radar for the New York Giants with the 12th overall selection this May -- Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans.
-- Height (6-foot-5) Weight (235 pounds) Speed (4.53 40-yard dash)
-- Huge catching radius (35 1/8-inch arms and 9 5/8-inch hands)
-- Extremely productive (69 receptions, 1364 yards, 12 touchdowns)
-- Has made a lot of big plays after the catch because of his speed and strength. Challenges cornerbacks to tackle him (it's not easy), runs like a deer when he can open his stride
-- High points the football, boxes out receivers and should be a huge asset in the red-zone because he also is a good leaper
-- Plus blocker
-- Good strong hands
-- Needs to refine his route running and some of his success came from Mazinel scrambling (backyard football)
-- Is he quick enough to create separation in the NFL with his quickness, or is he destined to play in traffic? Nolan Naworicki (nfl.com) for instance believes Evans is a #2 WR in the league who is a possession receiver (I would counter that by saying Brandon Marshall has been basically a big bodied possession WR in his career but supremely productive)
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Yes. He's a big target, who can run and make big plays. He should also be a better red-zone target than the Giants have had in a while (Nicks was pretty good there when he was at his best).
From the draftbreakdown crew @jmpasq
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 9th
Mocking The Draft - 7th
CBS Sports - 13th
Draft Countdown - 13th
Draft Tek - 18th
The question is not necessarily whether or not Evans is worth a top 12 pick because I think he is. The better question is whether his value at 12 in a deep wide receiver class is greater than you could get by taking a different position at 12 and grabbing a wide receiver in the second or third round. Are there only two elite wide receivers in this class (Watkins and Evans), or is there Watkins and everyone else?
If Evans is the pick, I will not dislike it -- there is an awful lot to like. And even though there are some concerns with him (like his route running -- his first love was basketball and you can see how inexperienced he is in route running) he possesses a lot of positives. Evans is the new breed of wide receiver -- he doesn't run like Julio Jones, but he does run close to what Vincent Jackson/Brandon Marshall ran coming out of college, and he's actually bigger.
Evans excels at the back shoulder catch and he has very good hands. He also isn't afraid of contact and should be able to rack up yards after the catch. He's a good player.
In my opinion he's one of the top three options for the Giants in the first round (that doesn't, of course) mean I'm right. But as of today it feels like it's Ebron/Evans/Lewan (not necessarily in that order) at 12. And it's a pick that would be easy to understand.