The New York Giants are focusing on improving their offense this offseason. Heading into the 2020 regular season, fans were fairly optimistic about the future of the Giants’ offense. There was a lot of excitement surrounding players such as Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram.
Unfortunately, Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 and missed most of the season. Darius Slayton struggled to stand out consistently and seems to have fallen into a secondary wide receiver role. Tight end Evan Engram was expected to have a big breakout season. This was the first year where Evan Engram was able to stay healthy and play in all sixteen games. Unfortunately, Engram did not break through the ceiling as most fans expected him to.
Evan’s role expanded significantly in 2020. He was often the first read and primary target in Jason Garrett’s play calls. Engram was targeted 109 times this season. He only found the end zone twice this year, though, and had a total of 11 drops on the year. Six passes that targeted Engram were intercepted this year and he lost a fumble.
Evan Engram was a bad-play magnet this past season. Of course, he still flashed his potential with some incredible performances, like in Week 12 against the Bengals where he totaled 129 receiving yards. But fans are frustrated with the Giants’ offensive ineptitude and aggravated with Evan Engram’s inconsistent and sometimes damaging performances. This has led many fans and analysts alike to mock stud UF tight end, Kyle Pitts, to the Giants with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But how likely is it that the Giants actually draft a tight end in the first round and cast Evan Engram aside? It might not be a realistic possibility, though it would be one exciting draft selection. However, there are a couple of other tight end options that the Giants might consider further in the second or third rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
If it were not for Kyle Pitts’s breakout 2020 season, it is highly likely that Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth would have been the top-ranked tight end on the 2021 NFL Draft board. Couple Pitts’s breakout with Freiermuth’s injury-riddled 2020 season, and now analysts are looking at the Penn State product as a second-round lock.
The ceiling is high for Pat Freiermuth. He has drawn comparisons to legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski. Pat even sports the nickname “Baby Gronk” for his violent playing style in college and menacing physical demeanor. In 2018 and 2019, Freiermuth scored a combined total of 15 touchdowns. He was a scoring machine in those seasons and was continuing his career with another impressive season in 2020 before it was cut short.
Probably Pat Freiermuth’s biggest red flag is his injury history. Pat injured his shoulder four games into the 2020 season. The injury required surgery and he missed the rest of the season. This injury has hurt Freiermuth’s draft stock. But this injury and draft stock tumble could make Pat Freiermuth an option for the Giants in the second round.
Another tight end option that could be a target for the Giants in the third or fourth round is Brevin Jordan from Miami. Brevin Jordan is an athletic tight end that is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Jordan has speed and agility that makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers in man coverage.
Brevin Jordan is another player that had a breakout 2020 season. This past year, Brevin established himself as a true offensive weapon for Miami. The U’s tight end racked up 576 yards and 7 touchdowns on 38 receptions through eight games this season.
With the athleticism that Brevin possesses, he could line up in a variety of alignments in the NFL. Jordan could be used in a wide receiver role, being more of a versatile tight end than the likes of Pat Freiermuth, who projects as an in-line tight end. This versatility, though, could be a reason for the Giants to pass up on Brevin Jordan.
Brevin Jordan is a weapon, which the Giants need. But he might be a weapon a little too similar to the one they currently have at his position. Evan Engram is very much an athletic, matchup-nightmare tight end, like Brevin Jordan. Having two players with the same playing style might not be effective (especially when fans have soured on Engram’s playing style). But if the Giants move on from Engram but like this style of tight end, Brevin Jordan is an exciting mid-round option to consider.