Are the New York Giants making the right decision holding onto Evan Engram?

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Evan Engram
Sep 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) gains yards after catch against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

At 26 years old, New York Giants’ tight end Evan Engram still has plenty of potential and value in the NFL. Despite a compounding list of lowlights this season, Engram has the athleticism to stretch the defense and force opponents to game plan around him. He is a capable playmaker, the only issue is, he seems to beat himself more than he is able to capitalize on his strengths.

Engram is strong in two categories, pass blocking and streak routes, utilizing his speed downfield. As we saw against the Philadelphia Eagles in week seven, Evan completely torched the defensive secondary and put himself in a fantastic position to secure the game for the Giants and earn their second win of the season. Nonetheless, he dropped a beautiful Daniel Jones throw, which allowed the Eagles to regain control of the ball and march down the field for a score. These are the minor flaws that plague Engram’s game, and as a pass-catching tight end, these are significant cons.

People are calling for the Giants to move on from Engram — he simply hasn’t been able to maximize his potential and become the downfield threat that the offense desperately needs him to be. The offense is averaging 17.4 points per game through seven weeks, which ranks second to last in the NFL. On the year, he has 223 yards through the air and zero touchdowns. Compared to a similar number of snaps last season, he has over 200 yards less receiving and three fewer touchdowns.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan believes that Evan Engram isn’t on the market, and the Giants consider him their top playmaker:

The Giants consider Engram their top playmaker. They want to get him the ball like they did in their 22-21 loss to the Eagles on Thursday (nine targets, two rushing attempts) and don’t appear to want to move him at the trade deadline. Teams have called, but the Giants are not shopping Engram, according to a league source. It would seem unlikely, barring an offer that blows them away, that Engram is dealt, despite his struggles.

The New York Giants are going in circles it seems:

The fact that Big Blue considers Engram to be their top playmaker is almost laughable. He is directly responsible for four of Jones’s seven interceptions this year and an added fumble. That is problematic at best, and if the Giants are willing to invest that much stock in his abilities, they must find ways to get him open and increase his confidence. He looked far better against the Eagles last week, but dropping a game-sealing ball is simply unacceptable for players that are considered so highly.

The primary issue is that the Giants might only be able to recoup a third-round pick for his services, and the question is, can they replicate his talent with a second-day selection? Probably not, and they have already picked up his 5th-year option, so he remains a cheaper playmaker at tight end.

Considering other teams have called the Giants to ask about his availability is a sign that maybe there’s more talent left to be extracted. Personally, I believe Engram lacks significant confidence, given his awful dropped pass last week. Something needs to change; otherwise, the Giants need to gain some value back before the deadline.