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Mike Sullivan likes Evan Engram’s speed and versatility

The Giants’ offensive coordinator is excited about his new players

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Before players hit the field for the first day of rookie mini-camp, Giants coaches met with the media to discuss their feelings about the incoming class of players. Two of the most talked about rookies in the 2017 class came on offense and most of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan’s 10 minute press conference focused on first-round pick Evan Engram and third-round pick Davis Webb. With that, there were no questions for the offensive coordinator about fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman.

Below are a few of the highlights of Sullivan’s press conference:

On Evan Engram’s place in the offense

“The intriguing thing about Evan is the speed component. He’s a legitimate vertical threat, but he’s not just a receiver ... This is a big, strong guy. There’s a size element that he has. He is not a big wide receiver and we do feel comfortable about things that we will want him to do when he has to have his hand on the ground and when he’s in that wing alignment. There’s a versatility that he has that we’re hoping can create some problems for the defense from a match-up standpoint because of his speed and because he can run his routes like a wide receiver. I believe he had the third fastest combine time, even including the receivers [author’s note: Engram tied with four other wide receivers for the fifth fastest forty at 4.42 among tight ends and receivers].”

Sullivan was then asked whether Engram would be in the tight end room or the wide receiver room and quickly responded he’ll be with the tight ends. He was also asked to clarify his comment about a big wide receiver and this is how he responded:

“Often times people are going to look at [Engram] and say, ‘oh, he’s just going to be split out wide’ and when I think of a big wide receiver I’m thinking of Brandon Marshall, Plaxico Burress, that’s a big wide receiver. [Engram] is someone we believe has some of that upper body strength and the size where he can fill some of those roles that we want as a tight end. We have to be selective about what we want him to do, but he is not someone you’ll see strictly as displaced out in the slot just as a bigger body. He’s a versatile player, a tough guy, and we’re excited to see what we can do with him.”

There wasn’t a lot of new ground broken there. We knew Engram was considered a tight end and would spend some time on or near the line of scrimmage because he wasn’t strictly an outside/slot guy at Mississippi.

Sullivan does appear to know targeting Engram up the seam is where he can be most effective and the coordinator appears legitimately excited to have that additional aspect in the offense.

On Davis Webb, pre-draft

The first question asked was if Sullivan had met with Webb before the draft. His answer, like Ben McAdoo’s, was he had not. However, quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti Jr. did, as well as some of the team’s scouts, which allowed him to get an idea of Webb off the field. Sullivan’s main point of evaluation of Webb before the draft was through the film. He was also impressed with his transition at the Senior Bowl:

“One of the things that stood out was his jump he made from his game film at Cal to the Senior Bowl and then the combine. There was quite a bit of work that he did and you can see that. Of course at the Senior Bowl he had the opportunity to be under center.”

On Cal’s Scheme and Webb’s Ability

“Players can’t pick the type of scheme they’re going to be running. I think it comes down from our standpoint what kind of decisions is he making, how accurate is he when he throws the football, what type of leadership does he have in terms of being able to bounce back — you watch the game film, there’s an interception or a bad mistake, did it create more and more mistakes and snowball or does it get better? We won’t hold [the offensive system] against the guy. It’s a matter of evaluating his body of work within it.”

Sullivan was then asked about why Webb’s deep accuracy wasn’t as good as his short and intermediate passes and the coordinator disputed that claim:

“Actually, I saw it the other way. I thought his deep accuracy was better in many cases than some of the shorter, intermediate accuracy in the tapes that I looked at. It can be within the eye of the beholder, you know, you look at three, four, five games and the different cutups. The thing that stood out to me was the deep ball accuracy. Sometimes [the result] could be drops, sometimes you don’t know what the design of the play is.”

He also went on to talk about how the Cal system didn’t always allow Webb to use his lower body and that many of his throws were all arm. Sullivan commented that they were excited to work with Webb on getting his lower body involved to where it needs to be at the pro level.

Quick hits on the offensive line

A question was snuck in about veteran tackles Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart. Sullivan noted that both Flowers and Hart had spent a lot of time at the time facility during the offseason. It allowed them to work on their pass sets and Sullivan noted that Flowers looks a lot leaner. Sullivan was happy both took to time to work at the facility to improve on their game.

The final question was about the rookie offensive linemen, sixth-round pick Adam Bisnowaty as well as undrafted free agents Jessamen Dunker and Chad Wheeler. Sullivan expressed optimism about all three but stressed it is early in the process and the transition from the college game is not an easy one.