While the general consensus suggests that Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins is the clear-cut top wide receiver in this year’s draft class, that’s not necessarily the case, writes Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. After speaking to several execs, scouts, and decision-makers, La Canfora came away believing that Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans, who has the size advantage on Watkins, could be the first receiver to come off the board.
“Would I be surprised if Evans ended up going before Watkins?” said one evaluator. “No, I wouldn’t. But we do think there is a drop-off after those two, and we know they won’t be there when we pick [later in the first round].”
Regardless of where Watkins and Evans land, it figures to be a busy first round for receivers, according to La Canfora, who says Marqise Lee and Odell Beckham may not make it past the late teens, given the interest they’re receiving from teams like the Ravens, Steelers, and Jets.
Here are a few more Friday draft items:
- In a series of tweets, Albert Breer of the NFL Network shares a few insights into the draft. Among them: Many people believe Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack are worth trading up for since this year’s pass-rushing group is fairly thin. Additionally, clubs may be more inclined to trade into the late first round to draft a quarterback, since the fifth-year option for first-round picks gives teams additional flexibility.
- Speaking of Clowney, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the details on the “force plate” assessment the Falcons put the defensive end through today. According to Breer (Twitter links), Clowney’s performance was very impressive.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins‘ basketball background could separate him from other tight ends, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Washington product is in good company as some of today’s top tight ends – Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas – played college basketball at some point. Seferian-Jenkins could be an option for the Packers in the first or second round if he’s on the board.
- The Eagles, who had three representatives at wide receiver Cody Latimer‘s workout today, spent 20 minutes post-workout having him run their routes, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The Eagles pick at No. 22 and the Indiana product’s stock appears to be rapidly rising.
- Combine exams revealed that Auburn running back Tre Mason has a bone in his wrist that will require surgery, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Meanwhile, Mason denied the report via Twitter, saying that he doesn’t need surgery.
- In an Insider-only piece at ESPN.com, Mark Dominik suggests a few hypothetical draft-pick trades outside of the top 10 that could make sense for both sides.
Zach Links contributed to this post.