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NFL Draft results: Why did Giants select Evan Engram? Here’s why

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Giants’ brass talks about their new weapon

NFL Draft Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

What did the New York Giants see in Evan Engram that made them select him before other teams might have in the 2017 NFL Draft? Let’s look at what members of the team’s hierarchy had to say after the selection.

General manager Jerry Reese

“We think that this guy can be a dynamic weapon in our offense. Obviously he has great speed for the position – we think that he can be a matchup nightmare for teams trying to cover him with linebackers and safeties, so he was a guy that we liked a lot. Our coaches liked him a lot and it seems like they can use him in our offense in a lot of different ways and we think that with this addition as a fast receiver down the middle along with some of the other receivers we have, that we can help the offense out some.”

On Engram’s blocking ...

“I don’t think that any of the tight ends block that great in this draft. Most tight ends in these receiving offenses in college these days are not true to what we call, wide, wide type receivers, end of the line guys. Most of these guys are H-back types and we think that he is a tough, hard-nosed, H-back type blocker, yeah.”

On why the Giants may have drafted Engram earlier than some anticipated he would be selected ...

“We liked him because, again, we feel like he is a weapon in the offense. We think that this guy can be a weapon and he is versatile and you can use him in a lot of different ways and our coaches are extremely excited about getting a guy like this in our offense. ...

“We are just trying to help the offense any way we can and help our team anyway we can, so that is important for us, just to get a good football player and we think that we got a tremendous football player.”

On the comparison of Engram to Jordan reed ...

“I think that he opens up a lot of things. We just feel like – Jordan Reed is a good example of a tight end that is hard to handle, one of those undersized tight ends that is hard to handle for linebackers and safeties and this guy is probably cut in that same kind of cloth and this guy is really fast. This is a fast, receiving tight end.

“we think he will help us. That is for sure. We think that if you can stretch that two-high safety look with speed down the middle and you have speed on the outside, I think that helps us.

Head coach Ben McAdoo

“Talented player out of Ole Miss. Length, speed, playmaker, special teams contributor. We’re excited to add him to the mix and hit the ground running with him.”

On how the Giants might use him ...

“He played multiple positions at Ole Miss. I think we can bring him up and move him around a little bit. He needs to play special teams out of the gate and move him into our offense to see what he can handle. Push him that way.” ...

“The fastest way to the end zone is down the middle of the field. Anytime you can add someone to your offense that can run down the middle of the field with that type of speed and length, it stresses the defense.”

VP of Player Evaluation Marc Ross

On Engram vs. David Njoku ...

“I won’t talk about Njoku versus what we liked about Evan. What we liked about Evan was his versatility, his feel for the game, his polish, his hands, his route running and his experience. Those were the things that we really liked about him.”

On Engram not being a traditional tight end ...

“He’s not going to line up on the line and just try to drive block people all the time. He’s going to be in the backfield, he’s going to be in the slot, he’s going to be detached. He will be down at the traditional tight end position sometimes as well, but the way Ole Miss used him he could line up at four or five different positions. He has that versatility, he has the smarts to do that, so I would envision that we would use him in a similar fashion because that’s a benefit that he has.”

On the Jordan Reed comparison ...

“You can see the similarities, he’s [Evan] an inch taller, Jordan was 10 pounds heavier, this guy ran a lot faster, but the way they were used, yes, very similar.”

On Engram’s surprising speed ...

“Besides John Ross, he was one of the fastest guys as far as a receiver or tight end. He might have been the second fastest guy. The receivers that were taken in the top ten, one [Corey Davis] didn’t work out and he ran faster than the other one [Mike Williams]. He was about the second fastest guy as far as the skill positions on offense. ...

“Nobody expects the guy to run 4.42 at that size. You just never would’ve thought that. You think the guy would run a 4.5, 4.6, or something like that, but for a guy to jump out there and run a 4.42, it was shocking. It didn’t push him up on the board anymore, it didn’t change the perspective, the reports were in with what he could do with his skill set and that just added another positive value to his profile.”