For those of you readers who have not noticed, a new and updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft will be published by FanSided.com every week until the momentous weekend in May. This week, Sayre Bedinger published FanSided’s newest Mock Draft and projected that the Pittsburgh Steelers would select the following player at number 12 overall:
Mike Evans, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
Evans is a big, strong receiver prospect who can provide the Steelers with a nightmare matchup on the outside. They have Antonio Brown who has proven to be a very reliable player, but they need more production out of the WR position and Evans could be a huge pickup.
Pittsburgh is in desperate need of help at three positions on the offensive side of the ball: offensive tackle, tight end and wide receiver. If they end up drafting outside of the top 10, then they will likely be out of the running for a majority if not all of the top tackles of the draft class (Jake Matthews, Cameron Erving, Taylor Lewan, Cyrus Kuandjio, etc.). In addition, drafting at number 12 might be a tad to early to select a Jace Amaro or Eric Ebron to groom behind Heath Miller at tight end as well.
However, in the event that Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans is on the board for Pittsburgh’s brass to select, they would be wise take one of those playmaking pass-catchers to shore up their receiving corps.
With Emmanuel Sanders likely headed elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent and Jerricho Cotchery due for an extension as well, Pittsburgh will need someone to pair with Antonio Brown sooner as opposed to later. Markus Wheaton, Derek Moye and Justin Brown are question marks right now, so it would behoove Kevin Colbert & co. to add some talented players to their depth chart.
Evans (6’5″ 225 lbs.) could immediately challenge Moye and Brown for Pittsburgh’s top ‘large-bodied’ wide receiver, and the redshirt sophomore has enjoyed a terrific 2013 campaign for the Aggies. After a stellar 2012 season (82 catches, 1,105 yards, five touchdowns), Evans has emerged as Johnny Manziel’s go-to threat this fall (65 catches, 1,322 yards, 12 touchdowns).
Although Evans lacks the type of straight-line speed that a player like Watkins does, his frame, body-control, hands and ability to work in the red zone and on deeper routes could be just what Pittsburgh’s offense needs. I for one would be stoked if the Steelers acquired Evans if they were unable to fill their offensive tackle-need in round one, and I hope that Pittsburgh’s brass are strongly considering him as well.
Like “NPC” on Facebook: Nice Pick, Cowher