2014 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers grant an alleged wish, select WR Mike Evans at No. 15

Bob Levey

If the Steelers want a tall receiver in the first round, Evans is a great prospect. He's really tall. Perhaps they're thinking more of the second round, but Evans' paymaking ability should be considered if he does fall to 15.

It's hard to tell right now whether quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was actually told the team would target a tall receiver in the first or second round of the NFL Draft, or if that tale is as tall as Texas A&M sophomore Mike Evans (6-foot-5, for the record).

The inclusion of the adjective "tall," though, is suggestive enough that's what the Steelers' extension-vying quarterback would like. It lends weight to the possibility Roethlisberger believes the best defense is a good offense. That theory may not have received supporting evidence at times throughout the 2013 season (most notably the 55-31 loss at New England). But a present and future weapon large enough to allow Ben to be forgiven for a few of the overthrows he may make (and did in 2013) might not be a terrible idea.

Perhaps that's why Panthers Lair has the Steelers scooping up the lanky off-forward built Evans at No. 15. Their reasoning is very simple (if not borderline grammatically incorrect):

The Steelers get a big time target for Big Ben to throw to.

Great length, attacks the ball in the air and has supreme confidence in his ability to get it. Happy quarterback, happy life? Is that how that goes?

Just going off a brief sample of game film, it doesn't appear Steelers WR Derek Moye can really hold a candle to Evans in terms of most areas of the game, except size (very similarly built) and experience (Moye's been in camp at least). With the impending departure of Emmanuel Sanders, who's not exactly huge in his own right (6-foot-1), the Steelers are left with a likely trio of receivers in Antonio Brown (5-foot-10), Jerricho Cotchery (5-foot-10) and Markus Wheaton (5-foot-11).

Far from Easter Island.

Moye may bump that average higher, but adding Evans would make for a second skyscraper in an otherwise minor city skyline. Perhaps, though, the alleged comment wasn't meant to be taken literally. They could target tall receivers in the middle rounds as well, obviously. We wrote about Clemson's Martavis Bryant in November after watching Sammy Watkins. Jordan Matthews is a great option. The Steelers have likely seen plenty of cross-state neighbor Allen Robinson. There's always the raw Kelvin Benjamin and his oozing potential.

Evans brings perhaps the strongest all-around package, which is why, if he lasts to 15, it won't last much longer. And he's just too perfect of a compliment to the Heave 'n Pray to think he'd be allowed to play anywhere else than Baltimore.

He should still be considered an option in Pittsburgh. And perhaps the Steelers are planting the information to get a team to jump ahead of Baltimore to take Evans. Wouldn't that be fun?

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