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If you ask most analysts, the Bucs weapons are easily among the best in the NFL. But it appears some team personnel around the league may be a little lower on the Bucs top pass-catchers than most, based on the results of a recent ESPN survey.

In a poll of more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players to rank the top 10 players in the NFL at wide receiver and at tight end, Mike Evans slotted seventh at wide receiver, while Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski were unranked. Both Godwin and Gronkowski did generate praise as honorable mentions.

Evans, who just posted a record-setting seventh consecutive season, was listed above surging young receivers D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown, and one spot above the Saints’ Michael Thomas. The Bucs all-time leading receiver caught 13 touchdowns last year and was still a dominant downfield threat despite injuries.

Added an AFC scout: “I thought he declined in ’19 but maybe wasn’t playing as hard as he used to — looked better this year. You don’t realize how good he is until you really watch him and how consistent he’s been. He’s a constant No. 7 or 8. Not a top-five guy but definitely top-10. He doesn’t do it for everybody. But he’s the size of a tight end and can run, and that’s rare.”

Evans ranking is well-deserved, and Godwin’s exclusion isn’t totally surprising. The fourth-year receiver missed four games with injuries last season, failing to hit 1,000 yards as a result. Godwin will undoubtedly work his way back into the top ten with another big year in 2020. He’s the volume receiver in the Bucs offense and one of the more well-rounded pass catchers in the NFL.

“He didn’t have as big of a year but [he’s] incredibly tough, played through pain on that hand injury and still produced in big moments.” — NFC defensive coach

Gronkowski’s absence from the tight end rankings is stunning to me. This may have been the position that generated the worst survey results of all of them, as Gronkowski didn’t crack a top 10 that included Hunter Henry, Evan Engram and Jonnu Smith. There is no way anyone can watch those three tight ends and conclude that Gronkowski is worse. Tight end is one of the weaker positions in the NFL. Even with an eye toward the future, it’s ridiculous to suggest Gronkowski won’t be a top ten tight end next season.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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eaustinyoung
2 months ago

They can keep sleeping on Mike right into the Hall of Fame. We don’t care none
Godwin has injury issues, but I’d take him over most receivers too.
Everyone just doesn’t want to admit Gronk hit his old stride. If not for a shoestring tackle, dude would’ve had THREE tuds in the Super Bowl. Absurdly underrated for once.

Last edited 2 months ago by eaustinyoung
Mike Pengelly
2 months ago

Watch for Antonio Brown to rocket up the receiver standings in what could be a huge year for him, despite having to share targets with Evans/Godwin.

GrayBalls
Reply to  Mike Pengelly
2 months ago

Not just Evans and Godwin. Can’t forget about our leading receiver at the halfway point last season, Scotty Miller. Also the return of Howard, continued presence of Cam Brate, another year for Johnson…. If Brown does enough to even sniff top 20 production, this offense will go from really damn good to berserk

Runole
Reply to  GrayBalls
2 months ago

Amen!

Horse
Reply to  Mike Pengelly
2 months ago

Our receivers are team players and all have contributed. It’s part of the reason why a good one is going to make big Bucs in his next contract. He’s a team player.

Dman
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Yup

bucballer
2 months ago

Haters gonna hate! Don’t put much stock in this BS! Our WR grouping is number one in the NFL! Man for man can’t be touched! And this unit can be even better this year. U can say the same for our TE grouping as well. If u had one game to win, u can’t beat Gronk and his experience and the fact that Brady and him can finish each other’s sentences they’ve been together so long! This team is phenomenal!

76Buc
Reply to  bucballer
2 months ago

Yep. Best TE & WR rooms in the NFL.

Runole
2 months ago

The NY and LA sports media have spoken. As usual they miss the mark. It is about team not individuals. Barring injuries the Bucs are going to be hard to beat in 2021.

Horse
2 months ago

Well let’s put it this way; Brady knew when he chose to Buccaneers that he was getting wide receivers much better than what he had played with before.

Naplesfan
2 months ago

The disadvantage, when it comes to earning individual awards and recognition, is that our receivers room is so good and so deep that nobody hits stratospheric numbers, as their competition on other teams are able to do in receiver rooms that just aren’t very good or deep.
That’s OK. Our guys are still getting paid, including Evans and Godwin and Gronk, which is the number one award and recognition for any pro player, aside from being reigning Super Bowl Champs!

bucballer
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

U can’t underestimate the thrill and privilege of catching balls thrown from the GOAT! At least as long as Brady is QB here, I would resign with the Bucs if I were a WR! There isn’t a shortage of WRs that would love to and appreciate catching balls thrown from Brady!

Gary
2 months ago

When are yall gonna get it…BSPN is as corrupt as most media sources in the U.S.
Thus I disregard anything associated with them.

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