By Bryan Rose
May 08, 2014

2014 NFL draft: Raiders reportedly favor Mike Evans over Sammy Watkins at receiver Mike Evans put up five games with over 100 yards receiving in 2013, including seven catches for 279 yards vs. Alabama. (John W. McDonough/SI)

Texas A&M's Mike Evans had been viewed as the top wide receiver in the 2014 NFL draft for the majority of the offseason, but former Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins appeared to have overtaken that spot in recent weeks.

Evans' place atop this year's class of receivers apparently hasn't changed for the Oakland Raiders, who apparently prefer the Texas A&M product over the highly-touted Watkins, according to Pro Football Talk.

As one league source who is as connected on matters of the draft as anyone explained it to PFT, the Raiders are believed to prefer Evans to Watkins.  The question becomes whether both are still on the board at No. 5, and whether the Raiders choose to pick a receiver.

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Watkins has been linked to the St. Louis Rams, who own the second overall selection, as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will pick third. Meanwhile, Evans has slipped in many mock drafts and could fall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the seventh pick.

It's conceivable that Watkins could be off the board by the time the Raiders' fifth selection comes up, so that makes the decision between the two players easy if the Raiders do indeed go after a wide receiver. But if both players are still available, would the Raiders draft Evans over Watkins?

Oakland could still be a bit wary to pull the trigger on a receiver that early thanks to the 2009 draft, when the team selected Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree, but it would be hard to leave Watkins on the board if both receivers are available and the Raiders decide to load up on weapons for new quarterback Matt Schaub.

SI 64: Mike Evans ranked No. 8 in our top 64 prospects of the 2014 NFL draft

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