John Fennelly, Lead WriterSammy Watkins of Clemson is widely regarded as the draft’s top WR, projected by everyone (present company included) to be a top-five selection on May 8.
The Giants, who select 12th, will not get a whiff of Watkins barring something unforeseen. They will, however, have a slew of wideouts at their disposal that could fit their needs.
The top two appear to be Mike Evans of Texas A&M, who will likely be gone by the time the Giants draft, and Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin. Both stand 6’5″ and both were on the other end of passes thrown by Heisman Trophy winners during their college careers.
To the naked eye, Evans is and has been the better prospect but Benjamin translates just as well in the NFL. If you like having a wideout the size of a Calvin Johnson and/or a Vincent Jackson on your offense, these two are what you are looking for. But many experts are now favoring Benjamin…
NFL Films’ Greg Cosell believes Benjamin may actually be the better pro prospect. From Rotoworld:
Based on tape study, NFL Films’ Greg Cosell believes Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin is a “slightly” better receiver prospect than Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.
Cosell called Evans a “measured mover,” while Benjamin is a superior athlete with more vertical explosion when the ball is in the air. “I remember watching Benjamin run by Florida’s corner, Loucheiz Purifoy, on a deep post — and Purifoy can run, he’s in this draft as well — and Benjamin definitely showed a burst with the ball in the air,” Cosell said. “Which is something you definitely look for when you look at vertical routes. … You don’t need to be a 4.4 guy to do that. You know Jerry Rice did that exceptionally well. And Jerry Rice was never a 4.4 guy.”
From NFL.com’s Combine Tracker:
BOTTOM LINE ON EVANS: A prep hoopster with shooting-guard size, Evans combined with Johnny Manziel to form one of the most dominant quarterback-receiver connections in the nation the last two seasons. He’s a big, physical, strong-handed, West Coast possession receiver with playmaking ability who projects as a No. 2 in the pros where he will make his money as a chain mover and red-zone target.
BOTTOM LINE ON BENJAMIN: A monster-sized, intimidating, big-play receiver, Benjamin has the overall strength, length and wide catching radius that will demand extra coverage be rolled his way. Showed continual improvement, is still growing into the position, and possesses the traits to become a legitimate No. 1 receiver. A very intriguing mismatch weapon with ascending talent.
If the Giants can land Benjamin, I guarantee you’ll never say Hakeem Nicks’ name ever again. The term “mismatch weapon” is all I need to hear. Adding a player like this to an already talented group that features Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle and it just doesn’t seem fair. Am I the only one that sees this…?