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From Prospect To Pro: Comparing Mike Evans To Calvin Johnson

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Mike Evans uses his huge frame, his top-notch speed, and his great hands to propel his draft stock in only his second college season. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.
Mike Evans uses his huge frame, his top-notch speed, and his great hands to propel his draft stock in only his second college season. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

In this week’s edition, I’m going to give you a prospect who resembles Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions. It’s a bold comparison, drawing similarities between a college receiver and one of the best receivers we’ve ever seen in the NFL. Johnson is 6-foot-5, 236 pounds and towers over every defensive back in the league. His rare combination of size, speed and athleticism is unlike any we’ve ever seen in football. Even when he was at Georgia Tech, he made spectacular plays and he was a can’t-miss” prospect, if there is such a thing.

There’s a redshirt sophomore receiver named Mike Evans at Texas A&M whose draft stock is rising faster than anyone's in the nation.

Evans (6-5, 225) is nearly identical in stature to Megatron. In 2012, he was a Freshman All-SEC selection while catching 82 balls for 1,105 yards, both A&M freshman records.  He also hauled in five TDs from Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. When it comes to running routes, Evans looks just like Johnson -- big, long strides and eyes always looking for the ball. They both have soft hands, always pulling passes from the air and using their hands and arms rather than using their bodies to catch.

Evans also has very good speed, especially for his size. Like Johnson, his speed allows him to run past corners on go routes, and he’s able to box out defenders on short curls and quick slants. Also like Johnson, Evans dives and jumps and makes acrobatic moves near the sidelines, doing everything he can to make a catch. They both show the unique ability to pull down balls when double-teamed and in a crowd of defenders. Through five games this season, Evans is averaging a whopping 24.7 yards per catch. He has 28 receptions for 691 yards and 5 TDs.

Evans will be a success in the NFL because he plays the exact same game Calvin Johnson does. Receivers with his size and athletic ability don’t come along very often, and when they do, they have an immediate impact at the pro level. I expect Evans to be taken late first/early second round next year because a receiver of his caliber isn’t just a product of a college system. He is the real deal -- a huge receiver with speed who can catch anything thrown in his vicinity.

And what does that say for Johnny Manziel's potential as a prospect? Is he simply lucky to have Evans as a receiver? That's another argument for another article, but it's evident that Evans can jump right into an NFL offense and make any quarterback look good.