The Bucs have spent the previous few years boasting one of many NFL’s greatest large receiver duos. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin type a lethal mixture that’s troublesome for any protection to cease. However whereas they may be among the many league’s greatest as a tandem, the place do they rank individually in opposition to different prime large receivers?
ESPN’s positional rankings collection continued on Wednesday with a take a look at the NFL’s greatest receivers. The listing, compiled via a survey of league executives, coaches, scouts and gamers, had Evans at No. 8. In the meantime, Godwin was an honorable point out.
Evans’ highest rating was No. 4, whereas his lowest was – egregiously – outdoors of the highest 10. You wouldn’t suppose the ninth-year professional’s manufacturing wants rehashing. However let’s do it anyway. He’s the one receiver in NFL historical past to start out a profession with eight straight 1,000-yard seasons. His 76 receiving touchdowns since getting into the league in 2014 are essentially the most by any receiver throughout that span. How he dropped from No. 7 to No. 8 in these rankings after a season through which he posted 74 catches for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns is anybody’s guess.
Breaking Down Evans’ No. 8 Rating
Evans’ place at No. 8 successfully ranks him because the No. 4 receiver within the NFC. Cooper Kupp (No. 2), Justin Jefferson (No. 4) and DeAndre Hopkins (No. 7) got here in forward of him. Davante Adams (No. 1), Ja’Marr Chase (No. 3), Tyreek Hill (No. 5) and Stefon Diggs (No. 6) had been the AFC receivers ranked forward of the Bucs’ No. 1 goal.
Right here’s what Jeremy Fowler wrote about Evans:
Evans is the participant who virtually all the time will get talked about, even when he’s off a top-10 poll — and the response is often “I can’t imagine I’m leaving him off.”
After eight seasons, Evans hasn’t proven indicators of regression. He’s the lone NFL receiver to file eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons as soon as getting into the league, and over the previous two years, he has performed it with a fairly low goal share (223 whole targets since 2020). That’s what makes his 27 touchdowns throughout that span so particular. He’s scoring on each 8.3 targets.
“So far as the high-end guys, he’s one of the crucial underrated in soccer,” an AFC scout mentioned. “That’s how his profession has been. When he’s performed, he’ll have so many yards and manufacturing that you simply’ll need to put him within the Corridor of Fame. He’s not all the time revered as he needs to be.”
Evans produced 0.54 anticipated factors added per goal final yr. And Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady recorded a 92.8 Complete QBR when concentrating on him. One knock on his recreation? His 508 yards after catch in 2021 was effectively under the highest guys, rating thirty seventh within the league amongst receivers.
“You’ll be able to see with some guys you’ll be able to throw them a hitch or a slant or a display screen, they usually can take it to the home,” the scout mentioned. “That’s not Evans’ recreation.”
Godwin Finishes Simply Exterior Of High 10
Coming in as an honorable point out was Godwin, who’s recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in December. The 2021 season was shaping as much as be his greatest, as he was nearing the 100-catch mark and had already surpassed 1,000 yards earlier than his damage. He has two 1,000-yard seasons within the final three years, and his new three-year contract with the Bucs rewarded precisely that.
Right here’s what Fowler wrote about Godwin as an honorable point out:
Godwin was dominating final season earlier than his torn ACL, recording 98 catches for 1,103 yards over 14 video games. “It’s too unhealthy he obtained harm, as a result of he was actually coming into his personal, along with his chemistry with Brady,” an NFC scout mentioned. “I actually like him. He can win in any respect ranges.”
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Godwin come again, produce and land himself contained in the High 10 at the moment subsequent yr. But when we’ve realized something about Evans and Godwin, it’s that they don’t concern themselves with rankings like these. Producing on the sector and successful soccer video games is all they care about. They usually have an amazing likelihood to do numerous that once more this yr.