Mike Evans and Jameis Winston were not voted into ESPN’s under-25 starting lineup.
UPDATE: According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, Evans was not eligible for the list.
Winston has plenty of competition at the quarterback spot with Deshaun Waston, Jared Goff and Marcus Mariota as options. Between Tampa’s disappointing 2017 campaign and Winston’s off-the-field controversies, it would be hard for Winston to get a serious look here.
Regardless, it is interesting to see the public perception of the quarterback completely change. Entering 2017, he was seen as a premiere young quarterback. It’s not clear how many teams would want him just a season later.
However, Evans not making the list is absolutely inexcusable.
Of course, those three receivers have bright futures ahead, but none of them have put up the numbers Evans has. Out of the aforementioned names, Hill is the only one to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Evans has hit that landmark in all four years of his career.
Although Evans has been a consistent contributor for his entire career, the other players mentioned all just broke out this season. The ESPN staff opted to vote for the players with recent success, compared to the consistent effort from Evans.
Perhaps the reason is Evans turning 25 next month before the start of the season, but that wasn’t clearly stated.
The only Buccaneer mentioned in the article was linebacker Kwon Alexander, who was a runner-up at the linebacker spot.
Alexander is on the cusp of another Pro Bowl campaign. He has put together a strong career thus far with Tampa Bay, but hasn’t become a star just yet. However, he does deserve some recognition on this list.
ESPN polled 43 of their NFL insiders consisting of reporters, analysts and former players to create their lineup.