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The WR Prospect Championship: (2) Mike Evans vs. (5) Brandin Cooks

mikeevans

 

(2) Mike Evans vs (5) Brandin Cooks

We have finally made it to our final as we crown our champion. Both Evans and Cooks have taken down some stiff competition throughout this exercise. Cooks has been the uber-productive small prospect that breaks the normal RotoViz WR profile. Evans is the epitome of what we hear at RotoViz look for in a WR prospect. Both players project to be taken in the first round of the NFL draft come May. Before we start lets take a look at the RotoViz College WR Career graphs for both below.

 

cooks vs evans

 

BRANDIN COOKS

Cooks is not without fans of his prospects at success on the next level. Rumors are that the Philadelphia Eagles may be interested in the prospect of drafting Cooks to replace DeSean Jackson. While it is just a rumor, the fact that Cooks is seen as a legit option to replace Jackson is a testament to his skill and production at Oregon St. Matthew Freedman had this to say about this match-up:

“I think Cooks should be the winner. If a slower, smaller, less productive Vincent Jackson and a faster, bigger, more productive DeSean Jackson were in the same NFL draft — and the V-Jax player were significantly more expensive to acquire than the D-Jax player, even though they were both first-round picks — wouldn’t you want D-Jax???

Cooks is younger, faster, more productive (by raw totals and advanced metrics), was more consistent on a game-by-game basis. Cooks will have an inferior draft status — but it will be accompanied by a lower cost to acquire, which I think will outweigh the former factor.

 This is a contrarian site, and selecting the smaller receiver over the larger one is a major contrarian move. In the end, I think Cooks’ and Evans’ chances of becoming studs are about the same — and since Cooks will be (I’m assuming) much easier to acquire in rookie drafts he’s the guy I want. I’m not even sure that Evans has more value, but I feel confident in saying that, from an arbitrage perspective, Cooks is way more valuable.”
Mr. Freedman is makes some great points, especially about the price to acquire Cooks. Cooks value is in sharp contrast to the price Tavon Austin was going at last year. By many accounts in the drafting community as well as here a RotoViz, the sentiment is that Cooks is a more talented player without all the hype. Jon Moore made the statement that he couldn’t blame you if you had Cooks rated as the number 1 wide receiver in this draft class. One look at his article on the Phenom Index and you will see why he made that statement. Jacob Meyers mad the point in his assessment that “Cooks may be the best small WRs we’ve seen in a really long time.”  All three of these gentleman are people that I respect very much and are must follows on twitter. When they talk you listen. If there evaluations are not endorsement enough for you to consider adding Cooks to your dynasty roster this year then Matt Rittle has you covered with his own logic….”I went to High School with a guy with the last name of “Cook.” He was a pretty good athlete. Kind of a dick in High School, but I guess most High School athletes are, right? I mean, except for the ones that aren’t…but they really seem like more of the exception than the rule, don’t they? I kinda doubt this “Cooks” and the “Cook” I went to to High School with 17 years ago are related, so…basically…I just wasted your time. Though I will say, if Cooks ends up being some insanely productive football player for the next thirty years or longer – I will never let anyone forget I voted for him to win this thing.”
In all seriousness, Cooks is a player worth your time and attention. Don’t sleep on his small stature or you could end up missing out on big production.
MIKE EVANS
 I’m taking Evans over everyone. He’s the unicorn in this draft. The film guys and the stat guys live him. He’s young, he’s the most physically impressive receiver, and for all he’s talked about, we don’t make much of how athletic he is – his explosion score would have been excellent if he posted even a mediocre number in the broad jump (which raises an interesting question – why the hell couldn’t he do the broad jump?). You have to look really hard to find any flaws. He’s my 1.01 and I’m trying to maneuver to get him in every dynasty I’m in. – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
The above sentiments are ones that I echo. In dynasty, if I am drafting at 1.01 I will probably draft Evans even though I love Allen Robinson. I don’t want to be the guy to miss out on the next Vincent Jackson or Brandon Marshall. That is the type of physical talent he is. Once he squashed any concerns about his 40 time at the combine, by running a  4.47 at 6’5″ and 231 pounds, nearly everyone here has jumped on board. Those numbers may have propelled him into the top 10 of the draft. The Vincent Jackson comparison is especially interesting as rumblings have risen that Tampa Bay may be a landing spot. Could you imagine those two monsters paired up? “ Mike Evans’ best case scenario is some unholy hybrid of Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall and Jimmy Graham, like a Cerberus who can catch footballs or something.” This quote from the famous Mr. Foxtrot in a previous post sums up why Evans may have the most upside in this draft. Evans is also young and just in case you were wondering about that Phenom Index thing…yeah he is third in the class.
Mike Evans is worth your consideration as the fist overall pick in a dynasty rookie draft. Players of his size and speed with a resume of production against SEC defenses is what you look for in a prospect. There is no perfect prospect and Evans does have a few red flags, but not enough to warrant you to overlook his extremely high ceiling. Evans is more than worthy to win this competition.
CHAMPION
Mike Evans is our RotoViz WR Prospect Champion. Cooks is a great prospect, but Evans is the WR the RotoViz writers were most willing to endorse in this competition. Evans will be drafted early in the NFL draft and should be used heavily his rookie year. His size should prove to be invaluable in the red zone for what ever team he goes to. Cooks is the most impressive small WR to come along in some time but the old saying “Bigger is better” holds true in this match-up
Did we get it right? Where would you draft Cooks and Evans. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

 

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