New York Giants: Tight end unit may take an interesting turn this offseason

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants have plenty of talent at the tight end position, so much so, they’re likely to cut at least one player to address other positions of need.

Having Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Scott Simonson, and rookie CJ Conrad at tight end is rather unnecessary. All of them serve a different purpose, while Conrad is the only true dual-threat (potentially). Ellison is capable of catching passes and holding value in that sense, but he’s a primary blocker that serves mainly a single purpose.

I’m really intrigued by Conrad and what he has to offer coming out of Kentucky. He’s a big body in the run game and can be an impact player in the passing game — I believe he will steal starting time away from Ellison and Simonson.

Ellison is my cut candidate from the group as he holds the biggest cap hit and is seemingly becoming less of a necessity as the Giants add youth to the position. Counting $5.75 million against the cap, Rhett also has a $2.5 million dead cap hit, so the team would save $2.75 million if they cut him, a nice chunk of change that could make a difference at a weaker spot.

How will the tight ends factor in for the New York Giants offense?

Engram, a primary receiver, will be a frequent flyer on the offense as per usual. His consistent injuries pose a problem and I’m convinced he will miss more time during the season as he’s currently dealing with a hamstring issue. His injuries will give options like Simonson and Conrad more time to develop and play with the first team.

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Again, I see Conrad making an impact this season after earning 318 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2018. He was Kentucky’s primary threat through the air but opposing defenses allocated a ton of resources towards limiting his production. He was one of two players to earn reps with the first team this offseason, Darius Slayton being the other.

The Giants could use a good amount of two tight-end sets this season, as head coach Pat Shurmur will look to cause confusion in the defensive secondary and unpredictability with receivers out of the slot. It will be interesting to see how the offense operates without Odell Beckham Jr.