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Lions head to Texas A&M for Mike Evans, not Johnny Manziel

Manziel pro-day coverage: Tune into NFL Network for live coverage of Johnny Manziel's pro day at Texas A&M on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Detroit Lions' interest in Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans figures to take a turn in one direction or another Thursday as coach Jim Caldwell and general manager Martin Mayhew will both be on hand for Evans' pro-day workout at the Aggies' indoor practice facility.

And while Caldwell and Mayhew have been tight-lipped about their specific interest in the 6-foot-5, 231-pound receiver, the fact that the Lions have their answer at quarterback in Matthew Stafford is clear-enough evidence that their direct travel from the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., to College Station, Texas, isn't to see Johnny Manziel.

The Lions, who hold the No. 10 overall pick, are thought to be heavily interested in Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and Mayhew didn't mind heaping praise on him. That at least shows a willingness to spend a first-round pick on the position, if not Evans. Caldwell indicated to mlive.com that he prefers the longer, more personal opportunity to speak with prospects at pro days than the regimented, 15-minute interview rounds of the NFL Scouting Combine.

It's a good bet Evans will get to know Caldwell and Mayhew much better Thursday, as Watkins did following his own pro-day performance.

Evans decided, like Manziel, to pass on Texas A&M's pro day event on March 5 and put it off until Thursday. As quarterbacks often pass on a chance to throw at the combine, instead opting to throw to familiar targets in familiar surroundings at their pro day, it's only sensible that Evans would want Manziel throwing to him for his own pro-day workout.

The Lions certainly won't be the only club at the event more interested in Evans than Manziel. You can safely count whatever representation sent to College Station by the New York Jets in that group as well. The Jets are already invested in a young quarterback in Geno Smith, and have also made no secret of their need for a receiver.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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