The New York Giants have a new offense in 2019. They made a serious change in their receiving corps trading away superstar Odell Beckham Jr. and replacing him with veteran slot machine Golden Tate. They also rebuilt the offensive line and drafted their next franchise quarterback, Daniel Jones.
One offensive position that has remained constant in the 2019 offseason is tight end. The Giants will be starting Evan Engram at tight end as he enters his third season. The young versatile playmaker has had an up and down career thus far. When Engram is on the field, he is one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL.
Evan Engram Is A True Receiving Threat
Unfortunately, Evan Engram has yet to play a full sixteen game season. He was mostly healthy his rookie season and went on to total a monstrous 722 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in 15 games. This was Engram demonstrating his true potential. But his sophomore season featured more injuries and missed games.
Engram dealt with a plethora of injuries causing him to miss five games. He still posted respectable stats, 577 yards and 45 receptions with 3 touchdowns, but he needs to stay healthy. Aside from his health, there is one other area that Evan Engram can work on, and apparently he has been.
Evan Engram Improving As A Blocker
Evan Engram has not been a great blocker so far during his time in the NFL. There has been multiple occasions where Engram has gotten no push in the run game and allowed the Giants’ running back to get tackled in the backfield. Take this clip as a perfect example:
Evan Engram IS NOT a blocker. I thought the Giants (albeit it was the old regime) brought in Rhett Ellison to block for them, so why is Engram blocking here?
A better blocker where Engram is stationed here, and Saquon absolutely takes off. Puzzling choice to use E right here. pic.twitter.com/8nuNMBvV4L
— Pissed MARA (@EmperorMara) November 8, 2018
The Giants were aware that Evan could be a liability as a run-blocker, which is why they employ Rhett Ellison, a premier run-blocking tight end. According to Evan Engram, his run-blocking has improved, and in great part because of his teammate Ellison.
Here is what Evan Engram had to say about his improved blocking:
“I was talking with one of my family members about how my blocking game has evolved playing with Rhett,” Engram explained. “Watching him each and every day, and working alongside him, it’s added a lot to my plate in the blocking game. With the steps, it’s the small details. I’ve always kind of had the punch, I’ve always had the heart to get in there and fight, but it’s been a lot of details. I really feel like I’ve taken my game to another level in that aspect, just through the coaching and playing with the guys.” – Evan Engram, via SNY TV
If what Evan Engram says is true, this will be key for the Giants’ offense in 2019. The Giants are shifting towards a run-first offense behind Saquon Barkley this year. It will be crucial for New York to put out capable blockers at every position possible this season.
We have not been able to get a glimpse of Engram’s new and improved run-blocking abilities, because he has sat out of both preseason games. It is likely he will not play in the presason this year to avoid injury risks, but we will get to see Engram week one of the regular season.
Evan Engram can set himself as one of the best tight ends in the NFL this season. He will need to stay healthy and prove that he did improve as a run blocker. If Engram can do this and sustain the production levels he has put out the past two seasons, Evan will cement himself as one of the best tight ends in the league.