The New York Giants need better play from their tight ends, plain and simple. They need better blocking form them in the running game, and passing game if the blocking scheme calls for it.
The Giants upgraded the blocking from their tight end position with the addition of free agent Rhett Ellison, but there is still more work that could be done. As has been well documented, this is the best tight end class in recent memory and there could even be players in the middle and later rounds that could have garnered high-round consideration in some other years.
Need - Tight End
Day 1 - David Njoku (Miami)
It is something of a coin flip whether or not Njoku will even be there for the Giants when they pick at 23rd overall. However, he is a tremendous athlete who presents an immediate upgrade as a pass catching tight end. He has the speed, catch radius and run after catch ability to force defenses out of the “Man-2” coverage that frustrated the Giants’ offense in 2017.
He is still developing as a blocker from a technique perspective. However, he shows willingness and has the long arms and lower-body power to develop into a decent blocker at the line of scrimmage and potentially a plus blocker at the second level.
Once he entered Miami’s starting lineup, he became a primary target in their pro-style offense, which could help shorten his learning curve at the next level.
Day 2 - Adam Shaheen (Ashland)
Shaheen is a boom or bust prospect, no doubt. However, he has enough traits — size, athleticism, catch radius, blocking effort — to warrant a chance on the second day. A pick like Clemson’s Jordan Leggett might have a higher floor and be able to contribute sooner, but Shaheen’s size and athleticism are just rare.
There is no guarantee that he will be able to make the jump from Ashland to the NFL, and realize his full potential. But if he does, his upside is tremendous.
Day 3 - Michael Roberts (Toledo)
Roberts doesn’t have the athleticism of the players at the top of this draft class. But what he does have is potential as an in-line blocker and a receiving threat in the red-zone, short yardage situations, and up the seams. He has a talent for adjusting to and attacking the ball in the air, and his massive 111⁄2-inch hands seem to just attract the ball.
Eighty percent of his collegiate catches were first down conversions, and more than one-third (35 percent) were touchdowns. For a team that saw their points per game dip by a touchdown per game from 2015 to 2016, that kind of red zone threat could be appealing.