In what will serve as little surprise to most of Bucs Nation, ESPN’s Top 10 list of wide receivers did mention a couple of notable names from the Buccaneers.
Mike Evans earned No. 7 on the list, slotting in between Keenan Allen of the Chargers at No. 6 and Michael Thomas of the Saints at No. 8. Perhaps more notable than Evans’s inclusion is Chris Godwin’s omission from the Top 10, landing as an honorable mention among names like Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Calvin Ridley.
Evans unlocked his redzone potential last season with Tom Brady at the helm, collecting a team-record, career-high 13 touchdown catches while posting his seventh straight 1,000-yard season - eclipsing Randy Moss’s record for most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin a career.
He maintained his status as a lethal weapon downfield, as 28.1% of his catches went for at least 20 yards, second to Carolina’s DJ Moore among receivers with at least 100 targets.
“I thought he declined in ‘19 but maybe wasn’t playing as hard as he used to — looked better this year,” an AFC scout said. “You don’t realize how good he is until you really watch him and how consistent he’s been. He’s a constant No. 7 or 8. Not a top-five guy but definitely top 10. He doesn’t do it for everybody. But he’s the size of a tight end and can run, and that’s rare.”
Meanwhile, Godwin battled through a litany of injuries throughout the season but still finished with 65 receptions for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns in 12 games. He made several key plays in the postseason as well, logging 16 catches for 232 yards and one score.
It appears his grit stood out to his peers.
“He didn’t have as big of a year but [he’s] incredibly tough, played through pain on that hand injury and still produced in big moments.” — NFC defensive coach
Godwin’s critical role in the offense earned him the franchise tag designation this season, where he will look to remain healthy and earn his rightful payday next offseason assuming a long-term deal fails to materialize ahead of the upcoming deadline.
Coming together with Antonio Brown and Scotty Miller in the Buccaneers receiving corps, Evans and Godwin will look to continue their collective and individual success as the Buccaneers fight to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
What say you, Bucs Nation? Should Godwin have earned a spot in the top 10 going into the 2021 season?
Should Chris Godwin be in this year’s NFL top 10 poll?
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