Rams 'frontrunners' for Mike Evans?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams might have their eye on a first-round receiver after all.

Throughout the pre-draft process, St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead have been tinkling on the popular notion of taking a wide receiver. This is what Fisher said at the league meetings last month, via the Post-Dispatch:

"I think with what we have on the roster right now, we can provide Sam with the talent to where we can win a lot of games. We're expecting improvement. We're still seeing improvement from, for example, Brian Quick, Chris Givens who are going into their third year.

"We expect significant improvement and more contribution from Tavon and Stedman. And I'm not disappointed in any way in what Austin Pettis has done in a backup role."

That came in reference to drafting Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the second pick in the first round. However, with all things draft related, you've got to keep your eyes out for a smoke screen. This Rams receivers talk just might be one of those instances.

Here's what Tony Pauline of Draft Insider said on Thursday:

Consensus is Mike Evans/WR/Texas A&M is a lock to be a top ten pick. Several teams feel the spread between he and Sammy Watkins of Clemson is not a great as many are making it out to be, something I completely agree with. Based on conversations its my educated "guess" the team who selects Evans will make a trade to acquire his services . Right now it looks like three teams are the frontrunners to make some sort of move for Evans. If the St Louis Rams trade out of the second spot, and they will make every effort to do as much, Evans would be a target assuming they stay in the top ten. Two teams selecting in the middle of the first frame who are very high on Evans and would consider trading up to grab him are the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.

Evans visited the Rams last week, so they've done their homework on him. The second pick is little high, but if they do end up trading down, as Pauline suggests, they could find him to be a suitable option for the sixth spot or somewhere else in that neighborhood.

For what it's worth, Sammy Watkins will visit the Rams on Monday. He's a more likely option for the second spot, and would most likely be gone within the top five.

The Texas A&M product is one of the bigger bodied receivers available this year. He's 6'5, 231 pounds, and far more polished than Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin. When you look at the Rams receivers, Evans is the kind of guy they're missing, a big, physical pass catcher who can still get down field and win on contested jump balls. It's the kind of role they once envisioned Brian Quick playing, except Quick has yet to develop or even see much playing time.

If the Rams did draft Evans, or even Watkins, it stands to reason that Quick or Austin Pettis could be the odd man out. Pettis' ability to contribute on special teams might give him an edge, but it's essentially a push when you're talking about the back of the rotation guys.

Now, Pauline's report might not have any more to it than Snead and Fisher waving off certain players and positions in the draft. It's that time of year where plenty of information gets leaked out in the service of ulterior motives.

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