As they often do, the folks over at Pro Football Focus released their Top 25 players under 25 years old for the upcoming season.
Coming in at No. 11 on the list was Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, who turns 25 later this August.
No. 11: MIKE EVANS, WR, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
“Evans is the only player to make the this list with four seasons under his belt already. In fact, Evans has graded as “good” or better in all four of them and his 2016 overall grade of 93.7 is the highest grade any under-25 receiver has put up and it’s not even close.”
Evans is coming off his fourth 1,000-yard season, one of only three players in NFL history to start their career in such a manner. Though 2017 was the lowest receiving yards he has ever recorded, he is still clearly seen as a elite young receiver in the game as the top wide receiver on this PFF list.
The second of two Buccaneers on the list is quarterback Jameis Winston, who turned 24 earlier this year in January.
No. 20: JAMEIS WINSTON, QB, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
“The first quarterback to grace the list, Winston has finished all three of his career seasons graded 80.0 or above, making it hard to make the case for another quarterback to jump him. Winston has flashed the potential that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2015. including this past season, he was more productive than any quarterback not named Tom Brady while under pressure, producing a passer rating of 84.4.”
Winston’s shoulder played a major role in 2017. After injuring it in the Arizona Cardinals game early in the year, Winston was forced to miss some time after trying to play through it. He finished the season with 3,504 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but seemed to play his best ball in the later games of the year when he was truly healthy.
Though Evans and Winston are the obvious choices, Bucs fans can’t help but notice linebacker Kwon Alexander missing from the list.
Alexander turns 24 in August and will already be entering his fourth year in the league. After a season in which he recorded 108 tackles in 2016, Alexander missed four games with a hamstring injury in 2017, which hurt his overall stats, finishing with just 70 tackles. However, those who know him and his impact know that he deserves a lot more recognition than he gets — perhaps one being a member of this list.