That player, as many would guess even before reading the headline above, was wide receiver, Mike Evans.
Evans has been a stable part of the Bucs offense during his five year career appearing in at least 15 games in each of those seasons. Still, the lack of team success has done to him what it has done to many players in similar situations, as his reputation nationally suffers due to his lack of playoff experience and associated success.
The former Texas A&M receiver has never had a sub-one thousand yard season and twice brought in 12 touchdown receptions up to this point in his career.
Many on the national stage have gone on record acknowledging Evans as an underrated player, including Farrar who wrote,
“Is Evans the most underrated big receiver of the decade? There’s an argument to be made.”
Of course, like Jameis Winston and Chris Godwin, there’s hope Evans will benefit from the arrivals of Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich as the offense looks to do even more than they did last year in an effort to cover up defensive and running game deficiencies.
This relationship is something Farrar also honed in on,
“If there’s one receiver on this list who could make the argument that he’s transcended his offenses, it’s Evans, and it will be extremely interesting to see how he benefits from Bruce Arians’ favorable concepts - especially if Arians can use his “Quarterback Whisperer” mojo to take Winston to the proverbial next level.”
Of the 79 players Farrar ranked ahead of Evans, are wide receivers. Davante Adams (No. 63, Green Bay Packers), Tyreek Hill (No. 54, Kansas City Chiefs), T.Y. Hilton (No. 52, Indianapolis Colts), Stefon Diggs (No. 49, Minnesota Vikings), Odell Beckham, Jr. (No. 33, Cleveland Browns), Michael Thomas (No. 13, New Orleans Saints), Antonio Brown (No. 12, Oakland Raiders), Julio Jones (No. 7, Atlanta Falcons), and DeAndre Hopkins (No. 5, Houston Texans) all ranked higher on the list than Evans.
National rankings like these don’t mean a whole lot when it comes to the actual game on the field, but it gives some insight into how teams and players are perceived outside of those closest to the them.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a big season ahead no matter what, and an improvement over recent years will go a long way in ensuring there are more Bucs on this list in 2020.