“Mike Evans turned 21 in the preseason of his rookie year, so despite already catching 238 passes in the NFL, he won’t turn 25 until August of 2018,” Harrison wrote. “Evans put up career highs in catches and yards last season, while leading the league in targets. There were times in 2016 when Evans represented the entire Bucs passing attack. The arrival of DeSean Jackson, and continued development of TE Cameron Brate, should only help Evans.”
Winston topped the list of young QBs and Elliott explained why.
“Statistically, he is behind both Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota. Yet Winston, the youngest of the three, is asked to do so much more on a football field in spite of that youth. He’s already thrown nearly 300 more passes than Mariota, even though both came into the league the same year. (Of course, Mariota has missed some time due to injury — but that’s part of this equation, too.) Ultimately, Winston’s lack of help — juxtaposed with Mariota’s luxury of leaning on a top-flight running game — landed the Bucs QB a spot on this list. Asked one of our resident scouts here at NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah, to rank them if he was starting an expansion team. “1) Winston, 2) Prescott, 3) Mariota. Obviously, it’s really close.”
Elliott and his staff also praised Marpet.
“A product of tiny Hobart College, Marpet has started every game he’s played in the NFL. Frankly, he probably should’ve gone higher than 61st overall, although he was the highest-drafted pick in the history of NCAA Division III football.”
It is impossible to judge a career after just two or three seasons, but few would argue all three belong on the list, while others think it should have been four, as Elliott didn’t add linebacker Kwon Alexander to his list.
Regardless, Bucs fans should be pleased that their team, and GM is being recognized for drafting a developing young talent.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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