Tampa, FL – Is Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) one of The Leagues premiere receives? Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald are a few that come that come to mind when discussing the best of the best. But how does Evans compare?
Entering the the NFL in 2014 Evans has averaged 79 catches, 1192 receiving yards and 9 receiving TDs each season. Increasing in catches and yards each of his three seasons. Now in his fourth year, Evans is on a path to be mentioned with the best in the game.
His 2016 campaign was the first year he played in all 16 games finishing the regular season with 12 receiving TDs (Tied for 2nd in the NFL) and 96 receptions (6th in the NFL). With 173 targets last season, Evans totaled 1327 yards which was 4th in the NFL during the regular season. Only T.Y. Hilton (1448), Julio Jones (1409) and Odell Beckham Jr. (1367) had more receiving yards in the regular season.
Evans could see more Man to Man coverage this season due to the addition on DeSean Jackson, evolution of TE Cameron Brate and progression of TE O.J. Howard. Less double team has the potential to increase receiving statistics. “I love man coverage, everyone knows that every receiver loves man coverage one-on-one. It’s just you versus him. So, I’m looking forward to seeing if the roll that safety over there, then we have other weapons on the field” Evans said during Training Camp.
In his rookie season Evans caught 12 TDs which was good enough for T4th in the NFL. Followed that up with 1206 receiving yards in 2015 (11th in the NFL regular season) and T2nd in the receiving TDs during the regular season in 2016 with 12 only behind Packers WR Jordy Nelson (14). “You know, I’ve said it plenty of times. I want to get better at ‘YAC’[yards after completion]. I didn’t have much opportunity last year because guys were always around me. So, what’s the point of me getting one extra yard? So, I’m trying to improve on that aspect, the ‘YAC’, and I think that will improve the team a lot.”
The Bucs will host the Chicago Bears this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. There is high anticipation for a high powered Bucs offense which will revolve around the passing game. The main target is not a question. Evans is that guy and for him to climb the mountain as one of the elite receivers in the NFL, the 1600/120/15 is the mark; 1600 receiving yards, 120 catches and 15 TDs.