TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) — by Tampa Bay Buccaneers // The National Football League (NFL) recently announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy have been named to the 2017 Pro Bowl.
A first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft (seventh overall), Evans has caught 84 passes for 1,159 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. His 10 touchdown receptions are tied for the third-most in the league, while his 84 receptions and 1,159 receiving yards both rank fifth in the NFL. His 84 receptions are tied for the fourth-most in a single season in team history, while his 10 touchdown receptions are the third-most in a season in team history.
“I am honored and grateful to be selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time – it’s a dream come true,” said Evans. “My teammates and I have worked very hard and it is truly humbling to be recognized by my peers and the fans for the results that came from that dedication. I would like to express my appreciation for my coaches, my teammates, everyone in the Buccaneers organization, and our fans, that share in this achievement.”
This season marks Evans’ third consecutive year with at least 1,000 receiving yards. He is one of only five players in league history to begin their career with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons (also Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, John Jefferson and Randy Moss).
Since entering the league in 2014, Evans ranks eighth in receiving yards (3,416) and tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns (25). His 3,416 receiving yards are the eighth-most through a players’ first three seasons in NFL history.
This is Evans’ first career Pro Bowl selection. He is the first Buccaneers wide receiver to be selected to the game since Vincent Jackson in 2012. He is one of only five wide receivers in team history to be selected to the Pro Bowl, joining Jackson, Mark Carrier (1989), Keyshawn Johnson (2001) and Keenan McCardell (2003).
This is McCoy’s fifth career Pro Bowl selection and the fifth consecutive. McCoy’s five selections are tied for the fifth-most in team history, alongside Ronde Barber (2001, 2004-06, 2008), John Lynch (1997, 1999-2002) and Hardy Nickerson (1993, 1996-99). Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Derrick Brooks (10 consecutive, 1997-2006), Warren Sapp (seven, 1997-2003) and Lee Roy Selmon (six 1979-84), along with Mike Alstott (six, 1997-2002), have more consecutive selections in team history.
“I would just like to say how honored I am to be selected to my fifth straight Pro Bowl,” said McCoy. “This is an honor that can never get old or be taken for granted. I have to commend and thank all of my teammates for all their hard work and dedication to this team and this game. Without them none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank the fans for all their support all season long especially when keeping Raymond James Stadium rocking. We’re nothing without you guys and are going to need your support as we continue on this playoff push. Once again, this is such an honor and it is only because of God that this has been possible. Go Bucs!”
McCoy, the former third overall pick of the 2010 Draft, leads the Buccaneers in sacks this season, with 7.0, tied for the second-most by a defensive tackle in the NFL this year. Since his first Pro Bowl season in 2012, McCoy has the second-most sacks by a defensive tackle (38.5) and the fifth-most tackles for loss (50).
The NFL also announced that four other Buccaneers players have been selected as alternates to the Pro Bowl: linebacker Kwon Alexander, punter Bryan Anger, linebacker Lavonte David and cornerback Brent Grimes.
This season, Alexander ranks fourth in the NFL in tackles (125) and leads the league in solo tackles (97). He is one of only three players this season with 100+ tackles, 3+ sacks and 1+ interception (Zach Brown, Landon Collins). If invited, it would be Alexander’s first career Pro Bowl selection
Anger is in his first season with Tampa Bay, after spending his first four seasons (2012-15) with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Anger ranks fifth in the NFL in punts inside the 20 (29) while tying for the fifth-best net punting average (42.0). Anger has helped the Buccaneers punt coverage unit to allow only 5.6 yards per punt return, the fourth-lowest mark in the NFL. If invited, it would be Anger’s first career Pro Bowl selection and only the second ever selection for a Buccaneers punter (also Josh Bidwell, 2005).
David, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season, leads the Buccaneers in tackles for loss, with 13, which is tied for the eighth-most in the NFL this season. David is also leading the team in forced fumbles, with four, which is tied for the sixth-most in the league this year. Since entering the league as a second-round pick (58th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft, David ranks second in the league in solo tackles (460), second in total tackles (650), second in tackles for loss (81), tied for second in interceptions by a linebacker (10) and third in passes defensed by a linebacker (35).
Grimes joined Tampa Bay this offseason after spending three seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2013-15). The 10-year veteran has been voted to four previous Pro Bowls (2010, 2013-15) and, if selected, would be the first Buccaneers cornerback to be chosen since 2013 (Darrell Revis). This year, Grimes leads the team in interceptions (three) and passes defensed (19), with his 19 passes defensed tying for the league lead.