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Jeremiah: Mike Evans will be better rookie than Sammy Watkins

If you're on Twitter or walking around Southern California and happen to run into NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, it's ok if you stop him to tease him a little about how highly he thinks of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

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Jeremiah lists the speedy pass catcher as the second best prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft and has been regularly touting Watkins as a solution for teams picking very early in the first round. That's what makes his statement on Wednesday's "Path to the Draft" on NFL Network all the more shocking.

"I do love Sammy Watkins, but I think Year 1 we're going to be talking more about Mike Evans just because the touchdown numbers will be higher," Jeremiah said. "If you come into the NFL, you're going to have to learn an NFL offense and he'll need to continue to develop as a route runner. But I think immediately he'll be a red zone presence and you will see touchdowns."

Take note fantasy football players.

Evans will have the spotlight on him Thursday at Texas A&M as he goes through his much publicized pro day with quarterback Johnny Manziel. Known for his size at 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds, Evans will be looking to show scouts he is more than just the big numbers he put up in college and that he has the acceleration to be a threat anywhere on the field.

A number of teams could be landing spots for the productive receiver early in the first round with mock drafts slotting him everywhere from the Buffalo Bills and the ninth overall selection to the New York Giants at pick No. 12.

The Lions have not so quietly emerged as a possible landing spot as well based on recent talk. The team might just be trying to scare every defensive coordinator in the league with the threat of Evans complimenting Calvin Johnson, but Detroit hasn't exactly hid their lust for the elite receivers in this year's draft.

"His catch radius is unbelievable," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said about Evans. "But I still think Sammy Watkins is the clearer choice here (for best rookie). I can do all the things you can with Mike Evans with Sammy Watkins faster and quicker. He goes up and competes for the football and when he does, he'll drop a shoulder on you."

Based on those scouting reports, a team will clearly be happy if it can land either guy. If you're the general manger of a fantasy team though, Evans should be your pick first.

"Getting me to say something negative about Sammy Watkins will not happen," Jeremiah said. "Just talking pure touchdowns in year one, I think Mike Evans is going to have bigger numbers. That size you cannot coach, you'll see cornerbacks having a difficult time matching up with him in the red zone.

"I don't think it's out of the possibility that he gets double-digit touchdowns in Year 1."

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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