Tampa Bay wideout Mike Evans doesn’t get the same attention as Odell Beckham Jr., but with 12 touchdowns and more than a 1,000 yards receiving, he more than made his mark during his rookie 2014 season.
After a first half start, Evans exploded during weeks 9-11 for 458 yards and five touchdowns. After that impressive run, Evans’ production dwindled and he wasn’t slow to point the blame elsewhere.
“The quarterback would just look me off, and then I’d be dead,” Evans told USA Today sports reporter Tom Pelissero. “And I didn’t understand, because I always think I’m open. Just throw that thing up.”
There’s no doubt that at 6-foot-5 and 230-pounds, any jump ball will have a good chance to land in Evans’ hands. Luckily for Evans, the 2015 number one overall pick, Jameis Winston, has no problem throwing it up to big receivers. During Winston’s undefeated 2013 campaign, the quarterback threw for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns. That year, his teammate was the 6-foot-5, 240-pound, Kelvin Benjamin, who was responsible for a thousand of those yards and 15 touchdowns.
As if that’s not exciting enough for the outlook on Evan’s future, offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter just recently moved from Atlanta to Tampa. Koetter is responsible for reviving the Falcons offense last season and generating success with Julio Jones. Evans should be the number one receiver for the Buccaneers and Koetter will look to get him the ball early and often.
However, fantasy owners should be cautious, Evans will have a rookie quarterback throwing the ball and there will be growing pains. The ceiling for Evans and all Buccaneers wide receivers is obviously linked to how long it takes Winston to adjust to the next level.