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Feb 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans speaks at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Evans Bests Sammy Watkins: Sports Science


The people at Sports Science create amazing information about the measurable aspects of sports. Last year their Dee Milliner’s Sports Science Video” href=””>Milliner piece convinced this writer that he could be a stellar, standout corner and should be the Cleveland Browns selection. Today we share with you their video on wide receiver’s Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins. The show different attributes of each receiver, instead of comparing them directly. Yet in the end the result score is surprising:

Lets take a look at the information they provide on each and how it could play a role in the Browns deciding to roll the dice on either of them.

Mike Evans

Evans is huge. 6’5″ with an almost 7′ wingspan. Comparing him to the size of a garbage truck is very interesting. Having him on the other side of the also tall Josh Gordon would give the Browns receivers that are a threat to high ball the catch. His vertical jump helps that as well. He also is well versed at coming back to the ball and making the catch, unlike Greg Little who struggled most with this type of route.

That he finished a tenth of a second behind Watkins in the acceleration drills should minimize the speed argument against Evans. He is plenty fast even at his immense size. He doesn’t have the same start/stop ability of Watkins but has the overall speed needed to take the top off the defense. Speaking of speed lets take a look at Watkins:

Sammy Watkins

Being a hundredth of a second faster in 5 yards, which they measured out to 1 full yard ahead, is amazing. He is in his route much quicker while a DB is trying to get into his backpedal. In college, and still likely true in the pros, Watkins’ defender played off of him more because of this. This created the space for wide receiver screens, end around and quick hitches to be highly successful. Play him tight and he will beat you quickly. Play him loose and he will beat you with the ball in his hands. Having the highest acceleration in the past 2 years is saying plenty.

The out and up test is a huge test of players’ ability to change direction while keeping their speed up. Doing it a half second faster then the average player may not seem like much but it is around a 7th of the total amount of time the average receiver ran the same route. This allows Watkins to run double moves, get in and out of his breaks quickly and be a consistent speed for his QB to anticipate his throws.


Overall in the measurable categories that Sports Science can measure Evans beats Watkins by .2. As noted with Dee Milliner above, these measurements don’t always count for on the field ability. Both Watkins and Evans have the production though to back it up. They both played at high levels for multiple years in big time conferences. They showed the ability to dominate at all levels so far. Watkins will most likely be drafted first but is the difference between he and Evans that great? According to Sports Science, and other information that we will cover tomorrow, the answer is a surprising one: No.

What do you think of Sports Science videos? Interesting? Informative? Pointless? Does the speed of Evans change your mind on him at all?


Tags: Cleveland Browns Mike Evans

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