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Scout: Mike Evans made Johnny Manziel, not other way around

  • By Dan Parr
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It was somewhat lost in the immediate aftermath of Johnny Manziel Mania coming off last week's pro day at Texas A&M, but wide receiver Mike Evans might have put on an even more impressive performance than his teammate during the workout.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt, who was on hand for the event, had the highest praise for Evans, tweeting that Evans had the best hands he had seen since Calvin Johnson. The reactions to Evans' showing only reinforced the notion that he might be picked before Manziel, the player who has overshadowed Evans and every other prospect this year given his celebrity status.

Evans might not be getting overshadowed by Manziel much on the draft boards of NFL teams, though.

One NFC scout apparently is much more impressed with Evans than Johnny Football, saying that Manziel has been the bigger beneficiary in the QB-WR relationship.

"In my opinion, (Evans) made Johnny Manziel, not the other way around," the unnamed scout told NJ.com "A lot of times, Manziel just ran around and threw it up for grabs, and (Evans) came down with it."

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The two combined to form one of college football's most dominant QB-WR connections over the past two seasons, and it's true that Evans' rare combination of size, leaping ability and sure-handedness made him a perfect target to make plays on jump-balls thrown by Manziel that other receivers wouldn't have been able to make. It's also true that Evans wouldn't have had an opportunity to make many of those plays if Manziel didn't have the arm and improvisational skills to make the throws.

Neither Evans or Manziel totally "made" the other. The two complemented each other well, but there certainly are fewer questions about Evans' game translating to the NFL than there are for Manziel's. Barring them somehow ending up on the same NFL team, the question of who was the bigger beneficiary of the connection could be settled before long.

In addition to the scout's comment on Evans, an unnamed AFC personnel executive had some strong criticism for the top tight ends in this year's draft published in the NJ.com article.

Here's a look at what he had to say about North Carolina's Eric Ebron, considered the top tight end available this year, and Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who is listed No. 2 at tight end in NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's positional top-five rankings.

» On whether Ebron is as good as Tyler Eifert, the first tight end drafted last year (21st overall to the Bengals):

"Hell no. He's OK. He's completely overrated, and he's a pain in the (butt). And don't ask him to block anybody, because he's not going to do it."

» On Seferian-Jenkins:

"He's more overrated and a bigger pain in the (butt) than the other guy. And he blocks like a wide receiver. I don't want any part of him."

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