Mike Evans: Baker Mayfield is "similar" to Johnny Manziel (in a good way)

Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans played with Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. Evans now plays with Baker Mayfield. Evans sees a similarity between Manziel and Mayfield, in a good way.

“Man, Baker, man, he surprised me a lot,” Evans said in a recent appearance on TexAgs radio, via “With not his game, I knew he was a really good player, just how he is as a leader and a teammate. He really surprised me a lot.

He’s similar to Johnny, his playing style. I mean, really similar. So it was easy to adjust to play with him. Shorter quarterback. Great athlete. Throws like a baseball player, like really tight spiral. Really good arm. Improvise, can do all those things. Super tough. So I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this year.”

So are we. Overlooked by everyone but the Bucs in 2023, the move paid off. And the Bucs rewarded Mayfield with a three-year, $100 million deal.

Mayfield should have been more expensive, because other teams should have pursued him. That will only make him more driven to keep doing what he did in 2023. And that will make for an interesting race in the NFC South, where the quarterbacks are Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, and Bryce Young.

The drive has been the difference for Mayfield, who like Manziel was a first-round pick of the Browns. And, frankly, it's likely the biggest reason why he's succeeding and Manziel failed. Manziel didn't like football enough to get the most out of his abilities at the next level.