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.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

25 COMMENTS

  1. Kwon is over rated. I f he expects a big contract we should let him walk.

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    • Overrated? Quite the opposite actually. He’s the leader of our D now and balls out every game. Is he still learning and getting better? Absolutely, but to say he’s overrated is just ridiculous IMO. Simple as that. He’s one of the guys we should be looking to lock up long term asap.

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    • You are absolutely clueless. This Man brings it every game and has the respect of the Team.

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      • Nuff said! Dude is a warrior!

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      • Nuff said! Dude is a warrior!

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  2. For all of the Meathead haters.

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    • Um Mark Dominik drafted Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David and Doug Martin. There would have been years where 2 or all 3 would have graced such lists. You realize that there are 22 starters on offense and defense right?

      The number you are looking for e is 22-42 (Licht’s record). Keep propping Licht up though, you’ll look as stupid as all of the Dominik apologists did in a few years ago 😉

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      • Oh, let’s not cherry pick, Devasher… Josh Freeman, Roy Miller, Kyle Moore, Xavier Fulton, E.J. Biggers, Sammie Straughter, GERALD, Brian Price Arrelious Benn, Myron Lewis, Mike Williams, Brent Bowen, Cody Grimm, Dekota Watson, Erik Lorig… I’m too tired to type more names… You can have Dominick. Meathead has put a roster together now that has talent, whether you like it or not.

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        • My last words in that post is “you’ll look as stupid as all of the Dominik apologists did (sic) a few years ago.”

          So if I’m saying that Dominik apologists looked stupid for touting the 3 players he acquired over those years, how, praytell am I now a Dominik fan?

          Dominik was awful, but he like Licht was propped up a number of fans who had a tough time understanding that 3-4 good players out of 22 starters does not make a great team. I wonder if some of these Licht fans didn’t just jump from the Dominik bandwagon in the first place.

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      • I just don’t understand people putting a record next to a GM. Does he coach the team? There is not one poster on this site who can’t say this team last year and this year are the most talented we’ve had in over a decade easy. It also takes years to fix the mistakes of dumannick.

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        • Who interviewed Koetter to be head coach?

          Who hired Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith?

          Who literally interviewed and hired all of the coaches on the staff?

          Who recommended to the Glazers that Lovie Smith, the man involved in hiring the him, be fired and replaced two years in?

          The idea that a CEO or GM shouldn’t take credit or responsibility for the success/failure of the company they oversee when their fingerprints are literally all over the product and the decisions made is stupidity at it’s finest.

          If I told some of you four years ago that you’d be strongly supporting a GM who, over the next four years guided the team to 1. The worst record in football one year 2. The basement of the NFC South three of the four years he constructed the roster. 3. Missed the playoffs all four years 4. Was given ample money, draft picks and the ability to hire his choice at coach two years in you’d probably laugh at me. But alas, here you are praising Dominik 2.0, except that Dominik has the excuse of being severely limited in payroll during half of his time here. You can’t say the Glazers have tied Licht’s hands that way since they hired the guy.

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  3. I have to say I find it funny the tunnel vision some fans have. “But we have multiple good young players, why aren’t they all on the list?!”

    Because there are 32 teams in the NFL and virtually all of them have Pro Bowl or All-Pro players. Even the Browns have Myles Garrett and had a HOFer in Joe Thomas for all of their suckery. People like to look at their teams in a vacuum and forget there are other teams out there and we wonder why we hear of annual playoff and 12-4 record predictions and shock that the team our esteemed GM built can’t beat anyone.

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    • I’m pretty sure the GM isn’t coaching the team.

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      • I’m pretty sure the GM HIRED the coach. And specifically recommended to ownership to fire the last one. So uh…idk what to tell you.

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        • Wrong The GM didn’t hire the Head coach Lovie Smith hired him after botching the previous one. The GM involved with the talent search. After Mike Smith was hired out of recommendation from Koetter and he had top 10 defense in Jacksonville. It’s the Head coach who is supposed to win with the talent the GM can make a talented roster the coach is supposed to with it.

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          • Lovie Smith hired the head coach?!?! 😂😂

            No Lovie hired Dirk to be his OC.

            Lovie was then fired, with Licht’s blessing.

            There was a coaching search.

            Licht and the Glazers interviewed the coaching candidates.

            Licht and the Glazers hired Koetter to be the HC.

            So no Sneedy, Lovie Smith did not fire himself and hire Dirk Koetter to be the head coach of the Buccaneers so he could retire to oversee bad college football at Illiniois. 🤣

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          • While you laugh as it was an idiotic comment. Last time I check Lovie hired Koetter and when Lovie was fired Glaziers hired Koetter as head coach with Lichts blessing. When did i say Lovie fired himself? Lovie got himself fired for not replacing his DC with the ones he had. You’re making things up to sound smart but buddy. Lovie was a horrible coach and Jameis had a good rookie season. It would be stupid to replace the OC with a new one just like Tennessee did. With the promotion of the OC to head coach. Licht is a good GM and is staking a roster of talent. Last time I check there are only 5 players from 2013 roster, so it takes time to build a roster from the crappy one Dominik left.

            I lived in Chicago and he’s a horrible coach there.

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  4. There is some considerable support to what Devasher is saying. If Licht is drafting well, then he has terribly missed out with his coaching choices. If his coaches are superior, then he has drafted poorly. We have been under .500 in his tenure here. I personally think there are more problems with the coaching then the player selection.

    I hope I am wrong and it all starts coming together now. As we all know, we are invested in Winston and he has to make this a playoff team more than anyone else – if he is better this year than everyone will look better.

    I still think we have less than average coaches at offensive line, defensive back, and special teams. I do think he upgraded the defensive line coach but I am not ready to act like Buckner is one of the top 5 in the league either.

    Since Licht has been here he has ignored a special teams return guy for far too long.

    It can happen this year. We have seen great changes in the NFL in just one year. Go Bucs!

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  5. Why is there always one poster who anoints himself as the all knowing critic of virtually everything and forecasting nothing but even worse times ahead all in an effort to make himself appear to be the white bearded old sage in the cave of despair? Tell us oh wise one, how bad will our Bucs suck this year?

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    • Well you know how it goes scu, some of the couch coaches think they have it all figured out yet the people who actually get PAID to do it haven’t even got it right. Only one team wins a super bowl. The falcons still haven’t, does that mean their team is a waste devasher? There’s only one goal and until the eagles finally won it this year you could say the same thing about them. I don’t care if the team is 15-1. If they don’t win the ultimate prize, who cares. Licth has thrown together some really good talent and it’s up to the coaches to put it together. And no, you don’t hold a win loss record against a GM. That’s like some one you blaming jameis and his win loss record like he’s the only one on the field when his stats clearly picked up. Yes he had more turnovers, but when the offensive lineman is getting pushed into you within two seconds that’ll happen. Or when the running game is nonexistent. Or when the kicker misses yet another game winner, or when the defense allows a 75 yard drive in three plays to tyrod Taylor, the list goes on

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    • Vegas has the Bucs at 6.5 wins for 2018, so if you’re looking for professional advice there’s a place you can go, Scubog. I can see 8 wins, but then I guess I’d be optimistic compared to Vegas.

      There is a fine line between optimism and stupidity.
      Kwon Alexander is a good young player, but there are lots of good young players in the NFL, thinking Kwon must be a leaguewide top 25 young player because someone only follows the Bucs is ignorant. Proclaiming the GM with the worst record in modern Buccaneers history is not responsible for the record he owns isn’t optimistic it’s stupid.

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      • Apparently you don’t understand how Vegas works.

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  6. Stop some drives and load up a few more wins and then MAYBE we can argue about ANY defensive players making ANY lists….WINS equal LISTS…..IJS..

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  7. I maybe wrong but didn’t Lovie scrap 90 % of the O line when he first arrived here? IMO Licht has drafted well except for 2016 draft as off today not one impact player from that draft.

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  8. Like I said on Twitter, this is actually a good thing for this team. Kwon is clearly the type of guy that loves to be doubted as it stokes his fire even more.

    Keep doubting and he will keep proving you wrong.

    As for the comments about Licht, he has put a very good group of young players together. We haven’t ever had this much talent aside from the late 90s to early 2000s. The wins haven’t added up yet but then again there have been issues outside his control like coaching, scheduling, injuries, and natural disasters that have contributed to that record.

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