Heading into last season a lot of people fell in love with the allure of the Buffalo Bills Lee Evans, and why not? He has shown signs of brilliance in his first two seasons in the league (a total of 96 catches for 1,586 yards and 16 TD’s) before bursting onto the scene in 2006.
In that season he went for 82 catches and 1,292 yards. He found his way to the end zone 8 times. Those are extremely solid numbers, causing many people to think that he may have finally come into his own. I mean, he was the thirteenth overall draft pick back in 2004, so owners had every reason to believe that this was the type of player he was capable of being.
Unfortunately, he regressed back to his first few year’s in the league in 2007. He caught just 55 passes for 849 yards and 5 TD’s, the fewest scores he’s had in a season.
Maybe part of his struggles can by tied to the uncertainty around the team’s QB, with Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman both seeing time and neither looking overly impressive. Edwards appears to be the future at the position, now entering his second season in the league.
Last season, Edwards saw the snaps in December, not necessarily the greatest month for Evans. He managed 14 catches for 211 yards, but did score 3 of his TD’s. Not terrible, but those 5 games shouldn’t give you any great hope for the instant chemistry between the two. Obviously, they’ve gotten more reps together now, so we’ll have to see.
Evans is a big play receiver, with 12 of his catches going for 20 yards or more, the longest of which went for 85 yards. There’s no reason for me to think that he’s not going to continue making plays for the Bills, as he appears set to be the team’s #1 receiver, but that doesn’t mean the statistics are going to be there at year’s end.
Sooner or later, you have to start to think that the player is not going to be the big star everyone once believed him to be. For me, Evans falls into that category. I got burned on him last season and I’m not going to take that risk again this season.
Will I be willing to draft him? Absolutely, but certainly not as my #2 guy. I’d be much more comfortable taking the risk on him as a #3 in deeper formats, but more likely I’d rather have him as my reserve and hope he proves me wrong.
Prediction: 68 catches, 909 yards, 7 TD