All throughout the draft process the New York Giants had been mocked an offensive lineman. But with their choice of three of the top four linemen, they went for Ole Miss’ Evan Engram [Prospect Profile]
Engram adds an incredibly dynamic element to the Giants’ offense that it might never have had. The pick comes as a bit of a surprise, but Engram presents a similar athleticism to to Demaryius Thomas or Alshon Jeffrey, but in a bigger, stronger package.
At 6’3”, 234 with 4.41 speed, a 36-inch vertical, a sub-7 second 3-cone drill and the third-best short shuttle at the combine, Engram is an explosive and agile athlete.
He doesn’t have the size of a traditional tight end, but he has the versatility to line up anywhere in the offensive front and stress the defense.
In addition to his elite athleticism, Engram has plus body control, a big catch radius, and big, soft hands. Engram should be a great target for Eli Manning who can be a deep threat, rack up yards after the catch, be dynamic in the screen game, and and be a red-zone threat. He is a savvy route runner who ran a complex route tree at Ole Miss, and ran it well. He is capable of separating with his route running, his speed, or by jumping over defenders to high-point balls.
While he doesn’t have the frame of a traditional tight end, Engram is a good blocker on the perimeter and at the second level. He is willing and tenacious when it comes time to lay blocks and is capable of sealing out linebackers or defensive backs, and doesn’t hesitate to block defensive ends.
In 2016 the Giants used “11” personnel on about 90 percent of their offensive snaps. Adding Engram will allow them to limit the snaps to 33-year old Brandon Marshall and play a “12” two-tight end set while keeping the athleticism the 11 personnel package usually provides.
Off the field Engram is praised as a leader, a two-time team captain, and has a reputation as a tireless worker.
Looking beyond Engram’s size, his route running, intangibles, and athleticism takes some of the surprise out of the pick. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how Ben McAdoo uses Engram next year.