Ask any football fan who Michael Lynn Edwards III is, and you’ll likely get a lot of puzzled looks and very few answers, but ask them who Mike Evans is, and instantly they’ll recognize the name. Evans is a man that has worked tirelessly at his craft, never stops looking to improve, and now is knocking on the door of greatness. Going into just his sixth NFL season, there is often a great debate of where he sits among the biggest wide receiver names in the league, but if you read my article Mike Evans: Too Much Hype or Best In The League?, you would know that I laid out the case for Mike Evans as the best receiver in the league, but now he looks to move past that to start his case for the best of his era.
Evans needs 1,000 receiving yards to join only Randy Moss (1998-2003) as one of only two players ever to reach 1,000 yards in each of their first six NFL seasons. Terrell Owens couldn’t do it, Odell Beckham Jr couldn’t do it, Jerry Rice couldn’t do it, Julio Jones couldn’t’ do it, Marvin Harrison couldn’t do it, and not even Antonio Brown was able to record 1,000 yards or more receiving in their first six NFL seasons. In what is now the 100th season of the NFL, to be in the position to only be the 2nd receiver ever to accomplish that feat is quite amazing.
It doesn’t stop there though, as Evans is also positioning himself to take away the 10th spot on the NFL’s list of most receiving yards over a player’s first six seasons from future Hall of Fame receiver, Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. Evans is just 965 yards shy of Fitzgerald’s 7,067 receiving yards, as he enters his sixth season with 6,103 in just five seasons. Not only is he set to accomplish something only one other person has done, but now he’s about to put himself in the same company as one of the best receivers to ever play the game in Fitzgerald.
For those that have followed Evans’ career up to this point, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise though. He still holds the Texas A&M records for most receiving yards in a season, the first and second spots for receiving yards in a game, and he’s tied for most touchdowns in a game. Obviously breaking records and setting high marks is something he enjoys, as he didn’t take long to start doing it again once he got into the NFL. He became the youngest player ever to reach 6,000 receiving yards, the youngest player ever to have 5 seasons of 1,000 receiving yards, and the youngest player ever to catch for more than 200 yards in a single game. Along with setting NFL records, he’s also gone on to break or set 10 team records for the Buccaneers including most receiving touchdowns in a season, most receiving touchdowns in a career, and most receiving yards in a season.
Don’t think that he’s going to rest on his accomplishments or suddenly stop building on the foundation he’s laid, as that’s simply never been his style. He has a quarterback that he fully trusts and works out with in the off-season, a new head coach that he’s excited to work with, and still a handful of doubters to prove wrong. If you’re in the mood to lay down a bet, make sure you bet on Mike Evans adding his name beside Randy Moss as only the 2nd player ever to reach 1,000 receiving yards in his first 6 seasons, and if you’re feeling like doubling down, go ahead and place one on Evans leading the league in receiving yards this year. Sure the oddsmakers might be against him, but we know money decisions are coming.