The New York Giants selected tight end Evan Enrgam in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, a pick that was thought to be ludicrous at the time, but proved to be beneficial for an offense that has lacked a true tight end in recent years.
The last time the Giants stepped on the field with consistent confidence in their tight end, was when Jeremy Shockey still bullied linebackers throughout the game. You could throw a bone to Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard, but they simply weren’t of the elite caliber.
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With the likes of Engram prowling the seam and exposing mismatches, the Giants can truly say they have a dynamic and versatile option at TE.
In 2017, the rookie hauled in 64 receptions for 722 yards, in addition to six touchdowns.
Evan Engram, Ole Miss, scores his first NFL touchdown on a throw from Eli Manning, Ole Miss. pic.twitter.com/rsabiphM3H
— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) September 19, 2017
Here’s a look at Engram’s very first touchdown – where he exposes the seam and marks the beginning of a new era at tight end for the Giants.
There’s evidence that proves Engram can be an elite pass-catching TE in the NFL, despite leading the league in dropped passes (11). Here’s an interesting stat: Overall, 75.8% of Eli Manning’s passes were considered catchable, which ranked fifth in the league.
Of the 571 attempted passes Manning threw, his receivers dropped 45 of them. Let’s imagine they caught all of those balls – Manning’s completion percentage would increase to 69.5% from 61.6% in 2017.
That statistic alone should give you an idea of how detrimental dropped passes were for the Giants last season. Consider this, just based on Engram’s drops alone, Manning would have increased his completion percentage to 63.5%.
Engram’s 2018 expectations:
There’s no doubt that rookie players have their fair share of hiccups, and Engram certainly had his, but he should return in 2018 with a heightened sense of confidence and a refined skill set.
Engram will be looking to develop his blocking technique and cut down on the dropped passes. Part of the reason the rookie tight end dropped so many passes was due to the lack of aid around him. Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard were all injured for some, if not the entire season.
Engram will now have a healthy balance of assistance in the passing game, which should give him better looks and enable him to expose mismatches. Expectations will be raised for the second-year tight end.
Receiving yards: 875