by Ray Kuhn
Mike Evans is destined to be a star in the NFL. Might there be some hyperbole and overreaction there, sure, as Evans is barely halfway through his rookie season, but all signs are pointing in that direction. Playing in the NFL is not easy. You need a lot more than just talent and athleticism to succeed, something especially true as a receiver and even more so as a rookie. There is a learning curve and it is not as easy as Evans has made it look over the last two games.
Or is it?
Evans so far has just eight career games under his belt, but he is looking like a star. Despite missing one game with injury he currently has 585 yards, on pace to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie despite a slow start. (9 receptions for 86 yards over his first two games).
Evans at least has been consistently involved in Tampa Bay’s offense every week. While he has made his presence felt in his last two games, Evans hasn’t been targeted less than seven times in a game and also has not had less than four receptions.
For those of you that hung on to Evans, or looked his way in Daily leagues, the last two weeks have been very redeeming. Against the Falcons on Sunday he caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown as a follow up to his performance the previous week when he caught seven passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
There is no reason not to expect him to keep that up, as he will only continue to improve and grow as an NFL receiver. The fact that he faces the Redskins and their suspect secondary this week also helps. Plus, with Tampa Bay generally playing from behind, Evans should always part of the game plan.
Evans’ two breakout games were split between Mike Glennon and Josh McCown so I wouldn’t let that concern me. Additionally, it was McCown who helped make Alshon Jeffrey a breakout star last season. In seven games with McCown at quarterback, Jeffrey caught 46 passes for 737 yards and four touchdowns. So maybe Evans is better off with the switch?
All he needs is the targets, which are there (62 through eight games) and only increasing, and the opportunity to use his athleticism to make the catch. At worst, I would consider him a WR2 for the rest of the season with the potential to be a WR1.