Over the weekend, Mike Sando of ESPN went through a re-draft of the 2014 NFL draft class. The one where the Buccaneers passed up Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel (snort) to pick Mike Evans, who had a really good rookie season on the worst team in the NFL. So where does he rank now, according to Sando? Exactly where he was picked: at number seven, behind fellow receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sammy Watkins.
This makes Evans the third receiver in the class. Watkins' superior physical gifts keep him in the second spot.
Odell Beckham Jr. obviously had the best rookie season among receivers last year, and is probably a better player than Evans at this point -- albeit a different kind of player. More immediately explosive than Evans, but smaller, and less physically imposing. To make some intentionally hyperbolic comparisons, Mike Evans is more like Michael Irvin while Odell Beckham Jr. is closer to Jerry Rice. Of course, both players have miles to travel before coming close to either player -- hyperbole, remember?
But it's a good one thing when, after one season, your top ten pick still looks like a top ten pick. That doesn't happen all that often, and the Bucs have plenty of experience with disappointing rookie seasons, and even more disappointing draft pick careers. Not this time!