Buccaneers Urged to Take ‘Explosive Threat’ to Replace Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Getty Mike Evans could play elsewhere in 2024.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans‘ future remains up in the air after this season, but the Buccaneers could find a high-quality wideout in the NFL Draft not named Marvin Harrison Jr. if Evans leaves in free agency.

Bleacher Reports’ Matt Holder suggests that the Buccaneers draft Florida State’s Keon Coleman, one of the top pass-catchers in next year’s draft. Coleman has averages 13.4 yards per catch amid 42 receptions for 562 yards and 10 touchdowns with the Seminoles this year.

Holder noted noted that the two receivers “share a lot of similarities” that could provide a solid transition for the Buccaneers. Bleacher Report NFL draft scout Derrick Klassen calls Coleman an “explosive threat” in addition to his strong route-running skills.

“Coleman has all the contested catch ability you can imagine [for someone with his frame] and is an explosive threat every time he touches the ball,” Klassen wrote via Holder. “He’s a quick, concise route-runner relative to his size, too.”

Mike Evans and Keon Coleman Have Comparable Size

Holder compare the similar sizes between Evans and Coleman, which will be important for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has very little height after Evans, and his departure would leave the team with no receiver over 6-foot-1.

“Part of what makes Evans such a tough cover is that he’s 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds, so he can come down with contested catches and is fast enough to win down the field,” Holder wrote. “That’s a big part of how he’s racked up 87 touchdown catches while averaging over 15 yards per grab during his 10-year career.”

“While Coleman isn’t quite as big at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, he also possesses the unique ability to bring in 50/50 balls and create explosive plays on deep targets,” Holder added.

Holder isn’t alone in viewing Coleman as one of the top receivers coming out of college in 2024. Pro Football Network and Pro Football Focus both rated Coleman as the third-best receiver in the draft.

Mike Evans Receives Praise from Titans Linebacker

Buccaneers fans caught a glimpse of how respected Evans is around the league on Sunday, November 12, when the Tennessee Titans came  to town.

Titans linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair grabbed Evans for a moment to share about how he watched him growing up while homeless in Tampa. Evans has been playing for the Buccaneers since 2014, and Al-Shaair, who entered the league in 2019, was a high school senior in 2014 when Evans was a rookie.

“Hey bro, I’m from here, born and raised,” Al-Shaair told Evans in a video shared by the NFL on X, formerly Twitter on Monday, November 13 . “I grew up homeless in my whole life … I’ve been watching you …. I used to stay under a bridge, bro.”

“God bless you,” Evans replied. “Much love, bro, for real. Yo, keep doing your thing, bro. On film, you nice, bro. You play hard.”

Al-Shaair had a solid game for the Titans with six tackles, but Evans stepped up all the more so for the Buccaneers. Evans tallied six catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in the 20-6 victory.