Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Height: 6' 5"Weight: 231 lbsAge: 25College: Texas A&MDrafted: #7 (1st Rd. by Tampa Bay)

2018 Outlook

Strength of Schedule:
18th easiest for WRs
Draft Rank (ECR) #22
Best / Worst #15 / #53
ADP #22



Anyone who drafted Evans last year has a bad taste in their mouth, though we've always said that touchdowns are the hardest thing to predict, even when you're 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds. Evans now has two 12 touchdown seasons under his belt, but the other two netted a combined eight touchdowns. Still, he's now produced 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons, which is something you need to value. If Jameis Winston takes a step forward in his career, Evans could be right back in the first-round conversation next year. The suspension to Winston for the first three weeks might turn out to be okay, because if you recall, Ryan Fitzpatrick produced two top-20 wide receivers with the Jets just a couple years ago in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

Sitting atop the 3rd tier of my rankings is the Bucaneers' undisputed #1 receiver, Mike Evans. Typically thought of as a top 10 wideout, I have Evans in my fourth tier for a plethora of red flags which point to his down 2017 as more indicative of his 2018 than some might think. Evans sports a 52.2 % catch rate, good for 87th among wideouts. While a great deal of this poor catch rate might be due to poor quarterback play, this year looks no better in that department as he'll be catching passes from Harvard's resident genius Ryan Fitzpatrick, and embattled (former?) franchise quarterback Jameis Winston. Even if we decide to ignore that, he remains in an offense anchored by a subpar O-line and featuring several accessory pieces with established target shares and a young tight end in O.J. Howard poised for an expanded role in his sophomore season. You'll enjoy the highlight catches Evans can and will make, but know his upside is crippled due to the subpar team surrounding him.

Evans has now gone through a great season, a poor season, a great season again and then a poor season again. If the pattern holds, then we get a great season in 2018! Of course, that's not how this works, but we know what he can do and we know he's stayed relatively healthy and will continue to see good target numbers. His floor isn't as high as I'd like, but his ceiling is.

Strong rebound target, Evans is being undervalued due to his disappointing 2017 that still resulted in 136 targets in 15 games and 1,000+ yards.

Jameis Winston's three-game suspension doesn't pose a major problem for Evans, who caught 14 of 30 targets for 265 yards and a TD in three full games with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yet an inefficient WR20 season still sparks concern regardless of Tampa Bay's signal-caller. He barely exceeded 1,000 yards (1,001) for the fourth time in as many years, but posted an underwhelming 52.9 catch % and five TDs. While high volume-especially his nine looks inside the 10 that yielded one score-should yield a bounce-back, 2016's 96 catches is now the clear outlier in a career catalog with no other 75-catch output.

Evans had only 71 receptions for 1,001 yards and 5 touchdowns, but he is an elite talent and he should rebound next year. The likely 3-game suspension of QB Jameis Winston hurts his value early in the year, but he should still be in the high WR2 to low WR1 mix.

Jameis Winston is suspended for the first 3 games of the season. That's the first reason I have Mike Evans ranked as a WR 2 this season. The second is how difficult their schedule is. They face one of the hardest schedules of passing defenses in the league. When you add to that the amount of weapons that offense has (speaking in terms of total numbers) you get a guy who needs to win on efficiency in order to pay off. That's not something Evans has showed us he can do. I'm staying away this season and I suggest you do the same.

He's taking a massive hit in the first three weeks and his long-term outlook isn't overly appealing for 2018

Evans has managed 1,000+ yards each of his first four seasons, but he was just the WR20 in 2017. With Winston out the first three weeks, Evans' stock drops a little, but he is still a WR1 who can be targeted at the end of second rounds.

I think he comes back to WR1 form, but the Winston suspension will slow his start.

Gigantic upside but showed that he has a lower floor than the receivers listed above him