Mel Kiper, ESPN NFL draft analyst, still expects the Detroit Lions could draft wide receiver Mike Evans with their 10th overall pick even though the Lions signed Golden Tate on Wednesday.
Evans is a 6-foot-5 wide receiver out of Texas A&M considered to be the second best receiver in the draft behind Sammy Watkins of Clemson who could go top five.
“Is Justin Gilbert the cornerback from Oklahoma State or Darqueze Dennard the cornerback from Michigan State highly rated enough to over-ride a receiver,’’ Kiper said on a conference call on Thursday.
Kiper said he sees Tate as more of a No. 3 receiver than a No. 2.
“So if you have Calvin Johnson, Mike Evans and Golden Tate you can attack and you’re going to score a lot of points with Matthew Stafford,’’ Kiper said.
No denying the Lions have other needs but Kiper said you have to get value with the pick. Reaching down should not be an option. That generally seems to be Lions general manager Martin Mayhew's draft philosophy — get the best player available.
“You could go tight end, you certainly could go corner and of course there’s other needs on the defensive side the team had trouble stopping people,’’ Kiper said. “So I don’t have problem they go corner if Gilbert is ranked in their top 10 or Dennard is ranked in their top 10. But certainly if Evans is there you have Calvin Johnson, MIke Evans and Golden Tate you have a big-time wide receiving corps that’s going to scare the daylights out of people.’’