Evan Engram remains one of the biggest questions in the New York Giants offense. The Giants drafted him primarily as a pass catcher, but he’s picked up a polarizing reputation for dropped passes, inconsistent appearances due to injuries, and accusations of slacking off at times. However, the Giants obviously still believe in his potential judging from how the team has kept him around rather than trading him when his value was higher.
ESPN is also a believer in Engram, ranking him in their list of top 10 tight ends that was determined by NFL executives, coaches, and evaluators. Engram came in at number eight on this list, above Jonnu Smith and the divisional rival Eagles’ Zach Ertz.
What did these professionals have to say about Engram? Interestingly, their thoughts indicate that the Giants might be misusing his talents.
8. Evan Engram, New York Giants
Highest ranking: 5 | Lowest ranking: Unranked
Age: 26 | Last year’s ranking: 7
NFL evaluators are still bullish on Engram’s impressive skill set despite a tough 2020 campaign.
He ranked last among tight ends on this list in several categories — drops (eight), receptions above expected (-10.9) and receptions per target (57.3). But his 4.42 40-yard dash speed and his route-running ability are hard to ignore. His open-field cuts and releases at the line of scrimmage are wide receiver-level.
“He’s the guy you can do the most with in the passing game,” an AFC scout said. “He’s the guy the coordinators would want the most. He’s underachieving and something is off, because he should be putting up big numbers with that ability.”
And the Giants hope defenses focus less on Engram now that the offense got reinforcements this offseason — Kenny Golladay and Rudolph in free agency, along with Kadarius Toney through the draft.
An NFC offensive coach added: “If he were in the Chiefs’ offense, he’d be a superstar.”
It’s clear that Engram isn’t performing to his max potential with the Giants but it’s unclear whether that’s more his fault or the fault of the team. The offense, after all, is limited by the players it has. That includes the offensive line which is responsible for protecting the quarterback, as well as quarterback Daniel Jones himself.
While some of Engram’s problems, such as dropped passes, are largely on himself, some of his underperformance may stem from the passes being thrown to him or from Jones not having enough time to find him as an open target.
Still, the fact that the rest of the roster isn’t perfect doesn’t completely excuse lacking performance from Engram. If the Giants can’t get the best out of the player with the personnel they have, they may still want to consider a trade if they get a good value.
After all, according to one NFC coach, Engram could potentially be a superstar in an offense like the one belonging to Kansas City – and because of that, his trade value may be higher than his numbers suggest.