Former Texas A&M star wide receiver Mike Evans has scheduled the New York Jets among his pre-draft visits to NFL clubs, providing yet another hint that the Jets are targeting a wide receiver with their first-round draft choice.
The team has a glaring need for help at the position, and even coach Rex Ryan hasn't exactly hidden his interest in a receiver. Two weeks ago, he joked that if Clemson star receiver Sammy Watkins -- projected as a top-10 pick -- somehow fell to the Jets' pick at No. 18, "he ain't getting to No. 19."
The free-agent signing of Eric Decker doesn't exactly cover the base, particularly with a still-developing starting quarterback, Geno Smith, in need of surrounding weapons. NFL Media analysts have projected the Jets to take a receiver in every mock draft, from Southern Cal's Marqise Lee, to Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, to LSU's Odell Beckham. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock has suggested the club may use multiple draft picks on receivers.
Now comes word from draft analyst Tony Pauline that Evans is on the Jets' upcoming guest list.
If the narrative on Evans' rising draft stock is on target, however, Ryan will have to trade up in order to get the 6-foot-5, 231-pounder. Evans excels using his size to catch deep balls in traffic, and beating smaller defenders for fades and lobs in the red zone. Watkins is expected to be a top-10 pick as the first wide receiver drafted, and once Watkins is off the board, any number of clubs picking ahead of the Jets could find Evans too attractive to pass on.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.