Will Mike Evans Become the Star He was Last Year?

As the Bucs hit the bye week, we take a deeper look at each position through 5 games this season.

The Buccaneers have their bye week this week, so we thought this would be an ideal time to fully evaluate the Bucs current roster after 5 games. We will discuss each player at each position at length and provide you positives and negatives with their play through 5 games this season.

Wide Receivers:

Mike Evans

Positives: Evans is still the Bucs top receiver and top threat in the pass game. The natural talent has always been there. After missing a majority of the preseason, hopefully, Evans and Winston can improve their timing during the bye week.

Negatives: Mike Evans has struggled during the early part of this season. He has dropped an unusually high amount of passes and has started allowing passes into his body, rather than catching them with his hands. On deep passes, it seems as if Evans is trying harder to draw a defensive pass interference penalty than go up and get the ball.

Future: Evans is and will continue to be the Bucs top receiver. They need him to be that.

Vincent Jackson

Positives: Jackson has started this season as the receiver Jameis Winston seems most comfortable with. Despite his age, Jackson has proven to still be a legitimate threat in the pass game

Negatives: Through five games this season, I think Jackson has been exactly what he needs to be. I don't really have any major issues with his game at all this season.

Future: At 32 years old, Vincent Jackson will unlikely be remaining a Buccaneer in 2016 unless he agrees to drastically reduce his cap number of over $12 million. While it may be easy to say the Bucs should trade him, the reality is that there probably aren't many teams willing to trade for a 32 year wide receiver who has a base salary nearing $10 million next season. Unfortunately, Vincent Jackson may be heading towards being a cap casualty this off-season unless something drastic happens.

Louis Murphy

Positives: Murphy had nice games against the Saints and Texans. In those contests, he caught a combined 6 passes for over 140 yards.

Negatives: Murphy just is not the slot receiver the Bucs offense needs. He has also failed to step up in the absence of Austin Seferian-Jenkins the way I thought he would.

Future: While Murphy might not be a very good slot receiver, he's the best the Bucs have right now. He does not count a lot against the cap, so he may very well be in the plans for next year also. However, if I were the Bucs, I'd be looking to improve this position in a big way with speed.

Russell Shepard

Positives: Shepard has made a name for himself on special teams. He's clearly the best special teams player the Bucs have on their roster, and a major reason he has stuck around for a few years now.

Negatives: I think the Bucs were hoping to increase Shepard's role as a receiver this year. Unfortunately, that increased role has led to 1 reception to 6 yards on the season. 

Future: I am a fan of Russell Shepard and believe he deserves a spot on the Bucs roster for years to come. It might be getting to the point that he focuses solely on special teams and the Bucs look elsewhere to improve at wide receiver.

Donteea Dye

Positives: Incomplete

Negatives: Incomplete

Future: The Bucs seem intrigued by the potential of Dye. He will have to show something in a game this year to better his status with the team for 2016 and beyond.


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