Combine watch: WR Mike Evans

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
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With the NFL scouting combine set to begin this week, we're taking a look at a handful of prospects the New York Giants might consider with the No. 12 pick in the first round. Today's entry would be a fun passing-game toy for Eli Manning and a potential replacement for likely free-agent defector Hakeem Nicks.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Why they'd take him: The offense needs help everywhere. Even if they brought back Nicks, they could use depth at wide receiver. But especially if Nicks leaves as expected, they'll be looking to replace him with a big outside threat. Evans is certainly big, at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and the Giants have long believed that Manning prefers a big target since he tends to miss high when he misses throws. As we discussed Friday when we profiled North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, teams that spend a lot on their quarterbacks like to draft weapons for him to use. Evans would fit the profile.

Where he ranks: Our pre-draft rankings have him as the No. 8 overall player and the No. 2 wide receiver. Mel Kiper's latest mock draft Insider has him going No. 13 to the Rams after the Giants take a linebacker, which they never do. Todd McShay's latest mock draft Insider has him going No. 10 to the Lions.

Something positive (via ESPN's scouting report): "Very effective downfield blocker in the run game. Gives great effort. Consistently gets in position and keeps feet moving. Has big frame to wall off defenders."

Something negative: "A slow starter and top-end speed is slightly below average. Does break some tackles and can build adequate speed if he hits a crease, but below average initial burst and elusiveness."

History: The last time the Giants took a wide receiver in the first round was 2009, when they drafted Nicks out of North Carolina with the No. 29 overall pick. They used a second-round pick (63rd overall) on LSU's Rueben Randle in 2012, and they have taken a wide receiver in one of the first three rounds in six of the last eight drafts.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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