ESPN released their list of the NFL Top 100 players on Monday and among those players were three Buccaneers, two of which cracked the top 50. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy came in at number 46, wide receiver Mike Evans ranked as number 49 and linebacker Lavonte David was designated at number 70.
McCoy will be anchoring a new-look defensive line for the Buccaneers. One with a tremendous amount of versatility. The team also drafted a defensive tackle to help McCoy on the interior with their first pick of the 2018 draft. Although sidelined with injury this preseason, rookie Vita Vea is not thought to be out long-term and should be seeing the field and getting acquainted with his new unit sooner rather than later.
Wide receiver Mike Evans eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive season last year – a feat accomplished by just two other receivers in NFL history. Evans leads a wideout group into 2018 that looks stacked and ready to go. After signing a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal this offseason, Evans is still the go-to guy and will look to add on another 1,000-yard season this year.
Linebacker Lavonte David often goes overlooked when it comes to national attention but the Pro Bowl and All-Pro linebacker's impact on the Buccaneer defense is well known throughout Tampa Bay. David is entering his seventh season with the Buccaneers, who drafted him in 2012. He plays in tandem with newly minted Pro Bowl linebacker Kwon Alexander to create one of the most disruptive middle level duos in the league. With a bolstered defensive line up front, David looks primed to be able to create more plays in space and have a monster year in 2018.
The ratings were based on 'a panel of ESPN's NFL experts' and their opinions on how players will do this season on a scale from 0-100, not taking into account past performance. The scores were then averaged to create the overall list.