Rookie Wide Receiver Spotlight: Watkins and Evans
In honor of the NFL Combine this weekend, I was very interested in the wide receivers that had potential first round ability. Everyone knew that Sammy Watkins was going to perform at the combine but there was a lot of speculation about Mike Evans. After the weekend they solidified themselves as the #1 and #2 best wide receiver’s coming into the Draft this year.
Sammy Watkins is the best wide receiver coming into the NFL this year and that is not a surprise because he has been consistent throughout his entire college career. He was the best prospect at wide receiver after his freshman year at Clemson, and his statistics not only improved, but his maturity did as well. Watkins has the rare ability to take over a football game which was shown in the Orange Bowl this past season where he dominated the Ohio State defense for 16 catches. NFL Mock Draft’s have Watkins going anywhere from the St. Louis Rams to the Detroit Lions and the Rams, in my opinion, would be his best fit. To have a big impact in fantasy football next year Watkins will need a veteran quarterback like Sam Bradford, and a receiving corp in Tavon Austin will help take all the attention off of Watkins. I expect Watkins to be the first off the board, and to have the biggest fantasy impact out of any rookie next year.
Mike Evans is the 6’5″ wide receiver that Johnny Manziel threw to this entire year. What impressed the scouts at the NFL Combine was his 40-yard dash which was clocked at 4.47 when he was expected to be around the 4.7 time. With the size that Evans has and his speed, he will become a very physical receiver in the NFL. Mock Drafts have Evans going from the Falcons to the Lions, even all the way down to the Ravens at #17. After his performance at the combine, I really do not see Evans leaving the top 12 picks because his ceiling as a big play receiver is very high. The only area of improvement that needs serious work is his consistency of his route running. Once this is cleaned up, Mike Evans will be a dominant player at the receiver position and he will be playing there for many years. As for his fantasy football impact, he should have a above average quarterback throwing him the ball in either Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, and or even Joe Flacco. This will allow him to grow in the playbook and could have a very big impact, especially in the red zone.