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NFL Network's Mike Mayock breaks down WRs Watkins and Evans


NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock likes Sammy Watkins over Mike Evans, as do most college football observers. But he makes a good case why Evans will be an immediate success in the NFL as a rookie.

Clemson's Watkins would be a dream pick for the Buffalo Bills, but he is unlikely to last to No. 9, where the Bills are scheduled to pick. Texas A&M's Evans might be there; he might not. Adding another receiving weapon for the offense is a strong option for the Bills.

Mayock's breakdown:

"The way I look at those two kids is it’s vanilla and chocolate. They make different flavors for different reasons. The Watkins kid is explosive, a great route runner, great hands, tremendous run after the catch. More than anything he’s a competitor. In addition to all the natural gifts he has, you’ve got an edge about him every game he plays, and I love that."

"Mike Evans is more a product of what today’s NFL environment is. Today’s NFL environment with the advent of the back-shoulder throw has opened up the game for the big wideouts, the 6-5 wideouts. Why? Because they basically can play outside the numbers. They don’t have to run as many routes, and they don’t have to get in and out of breaks like the smaller wideouts. So they’re running a bunch of outside the number fade routes that become converted back-shoulders. It’s just a jump ball. Any time you get a one on one with a defensive back with his back turned, and you get a big superior athlete, the odds favor the wide receiver. Mike Evans, I think, along with Kelvin Benjamin and some of these other guys, are what today’s NFL is all about. They’re outside the numbers guys and red zone guys. However, I happen to think that Watkins is a better football player, and that’s why he’s rated higher."

In response to the question on the two WRs from Chris Brown of, Mayock replied: "You don't want Zack Martin, huh?"

Mayock loves Notre Dame's Martin, who likely is the fourth-rated offensive tackle. He thinks Martin is a viable option for the Bills at No. 9, too.


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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.