New York Giants: Could Evan Engram Total 1,000 Yards In Jason Garrett’s Offense?

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The New York Giants made a splash hiring on their coaching staff this offseason, hiring former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as their offensive coordinator. Garrett spent ten years as the head coach of the Cowboys. The Cowboys had a top offense in the league nearly every season with Jason Garrett running the show.

One of the key components to Jason Garrett’s offense is the emphasis on the tight end position. Garrett was fortunate enough to have Jason Witten as his tight end in Dallas for all those years and the two collaborated on some of the best seasons by a tight end in NFL history. In 2012, Jason Witten received a career-high 147 targets in Garrett’s offense. 2012 was the last season that Garrett called plays for Dallas.

Calling plays for the Giants in 2020, could Jason Garrett feature Evan Engram in such a prominent role?

Jason Garrett and The Tight End Position

Witten, as the long-time tight end of the Cowboys, received 80 or more targets every year he played under Garrett, including multiple 120+ target seasons.

Between the ages of 25 and 31, Jason Witten was targeted in the Cowboys offense an average of 127 times a year–and that was despite their having a legitimate No. 1 receiver and a top rushing attack. – Gene Clemons of Giants County

Jason Witten had four 1,000 yard seasons in his career with the Cowboys. In each of those seasons, he received a total of targets greater than 120. Evan Engram will inevitably see his role expand with Garrett in town, and could see over 120 targets. But is he ready for an expanded role?

New York Giants: 3 play-makers who could have great 2020 season’s

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard, Xavier McKinney, Evan Engram

Training camp is underway for the New York Giants and the veterans have taken the football field. With plenty of opt-outs across the league still expected, the Giants have only lost two players thus far –Nate Solder and Da’Mari Scott.

The current roster is a product of a complete overhaul, institutionalized by general manager Dave Gettleman. New head coach Joe Judge has certainly made his impact known early on in his career with the Giants, spending the fourth overall pick on a tackle, Andrew Thomas. Prior to this off-season, Gettleman had never spent a first-round selection let alone a top-five pick on an offensive lineman.

The Giants have struggled in recent years to put any sort of success together. Offensively in 2019, they ranked 18th of 32 in points for and 30th of 32 in points against. They allowed nearly 30 points per game, a number that must decrease moving forward.

Since both sides of the ball need to witness vast improvements, let’s take a look at some of the Giants’ playmakers and what to expect from them in 2020.

Three New York Giants players who could have big 2020 seasons:

1.) Jabrill Peppers

When the Giants originally traded Odell Beckham Jr., they didn’t anticipate Jabrill Peppers becoming a focal point on defense. Since joining Big Blue, he has left his mark.

Despite missing five games in 2019 with an injured hip, Peppers posted very similar stats to his 2018 campaign.

For comparison sake:

2018: 79 combined tackles, five tackles for a loss, four quarterback hits, 1.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries, five passes defended, 1 INT

2019: 76 combined tackles, five tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, five passes defended, one INT, one TD

As you can see, he had a very similar year but posted three additional turnovers on defense. He took a significant step forward at strong safety with the Giants, and having leaned out and added more muscle mass, he looks to be in perfect shape. Considering his development last year, I fully expect him to take a step forward and produce at a high-level.

New York Giants’ Evan Engram ranked very nicely by NFL.com

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There is no question that the New York Giants have struggled the past few seasons, which has inevitably limited some of their better players. Trading away Odell Beckham Jr. was a fundamental part of their full roster overhaul, and general manager Dave Gettleman is still putting his final touches on the team.

The offensive line is far from cohesive, despite the drafting of fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas, and the defense is still in the works.

However, despite injuries, the Giants feel confident going into 2020 with plenty of talented youth pieces on the team, and some experienced veterans to lead the way. Tight end Evan Engram, who missed eight games in 2019 due to a midfoot sprain, is returning with high expectations.

The New York Giants need the rookie Evan Engram back, minutes the dropped catches:

Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Engram has seen his statistics decrease consecutively. In 2017, he played in 15 games, earning 64 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns. Since then, he has steadily lost yardage volume and finished with just 467 yards in 2019.

However, that hasn’t taken away from his talent and what he brings to the Giants’ offense.

Former Giants quarterback, David Carr, who’s currently an NFL.com analyst, was very confident in Engram’s abilities moving forward, ranking him the 10th-best tight end in football.

Engram often flies under the radar because he’s on a struggling Giants team that’s trying to find its offensive identity. But make no mistake: The fourth-year pro is a nightmare matchup in the passing game as a crafty route runner and asset in the run game (much like Ertz). With a full recovery from knee and foot injuries that forced him to miss the second half of last season, Engram is in good position to have a career year as quarterback Daniel Jones continues to develop.

 

Engram has been rehabbing for months, and he should be a full go for training camp this year. Going into his fourth season, Evan holds the key to unlocking his potential. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is fantastic at utilizing tight ends, considering what he managed to do with Jason Witten and even Blake Jarwin last year.

Engram is a nightmare in the passing game and opens up the field considerably for other players like Saquon Barkley. While he’s not the most refined blocker, he can do just enough to get by. It is his release off the line of scrimmage and mismatches with linebackers that make him an elite player when healthy.

New York Giants: 3 players who could be on the trade block in 2020

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The New York Giants are still in the middle of a full roster rebuilt. They took positive steps forward during this past NFL draft. Adding tackle Andrew Thomas and safety Xavier McKinney to the team should see an improvement on both sides of the ball, but the reality is, struggles will exist.

With the seventh toughest schedule in the league this year, the Giants are facing an uphill battle to success. Staying close in games and competing in the fourth quarter would be a step forward compared to 2019. Expecting a playoff appearance is lofty, and the Giants should be looking for any way to improve their roster and add value for 2021 and beyond.

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Let’s take a look at three New York Giants players who could be trade pieces this season:

1.) Evan Engram

Right off the bat, trading Evan Engram is not ideal. However, if the Giants are struggling and a playoff-contending team is looking for a receiving threat at tight end, Engram could be on the trade block.

Adding a 2/3rd round pick for his services would be a solid deal, considering his injury history and having just one more season after 2020 on his deal.

Engram has consistently seen a decrease in statistical production since his inception in the NFL in 2017. In his rookie season, he posted six touchdowns and 722 yards but has since watched his yard totals dropped to 467 in 2019. At nearly 26 years old, he has plenty of potential and prime performance left, and new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will look untap the wealth he contains.

We’ve seen what Engram can do on offense against mismatched in coverage. If he can stay on the field, there’s no question he can be one of the premier receiving threats from the position in the NFL. Again, I would prefer not to trade Evan and keep him as one of Daniel Jones’ top weapons, but if struggles arise, adding value isn’t a bad move.

2.) Golden Tate

Extracting value from players with one year left or outs in their contract is always a positive. Tate signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal with the Giants last season, but the team has an out after the 2020 campaign.

He will be turning 33 years old and counting just $5 million in dead cap space if the Giants release him. Otherwise, they will soak up an $11 million cap hit in 2021 and $8.5 million in 2022.

Benefiting off another team’s injuries is often how draft capital is accumulated, and the Giants could look to move Tate at the deadline if a team in need of a solid slot receiver comes calling. At that point in the year, he wouldn’t cost much for a playoff-contending squad, and he still has the goods to produce at a high-level. Last year with the Giants, he posted 676 yards and six touchdowns over 11 games. That was his highest touchdown total since 2015, proving he still has the ability to exceed expectations.

3.) Markus Golden (if retained)

As stated before, cashing in on short term deals is how teams like the New England Patriots stay in business for so long. Adding as much draft capital as possible and hoping a player pans out increases your probability of success.

With that being said, the Giants and new head coach Joe Judge hit Golden with the free-agent tender this off-season, which would pay him 110% of his 2019 salary. With only until July 22 to sign a multi-year deal elsewhere, it seems as if Golden will stick with the Giants for $4.125 million in 2020.

Considering no other teams pursued the double-digit sack pass rusher aggressively in free agency, the Giants should look to potentially maximize value in a trade. Again, a lot of these scenarios rely on other teams sustaining injuries and needing supplemental help. However, Markus fits the bill and can serve in a 3-4 and 4-3 base defense as either an OLB or DE.

New York Giants: Kaden Smith Has Breakout Potential In 2020

New York Giants, Kaden Smith

The New York Giants will likely run a lot more twelve-personnel in 2020. With the recent hiring of Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator, the team’s offense is set to emphasize a heavy usage of the tight end position.

Luckily for the Giants, they have just the personnel to run two-tight end sets. The Gmen have two capable tight ends on their roster: Evan Engram and Kaden Smith. Engram is an explosive, versatile receiving threat who can be a matchup-nightmare at the tight end position. Kaden Smith is quite the opposite, however, his playstyle might be even more fitting to the Giants’ new offensive scheme.

Kaden Smith Stats and Highlights

Kaden Smith is a solid, reliable tight end. He is not the fastest guy nor the best route runner, but he has dependable hands and good run-blocking skills. Jason Garret utilizes a run-heavy offensive scheme that leans on the tight ends to make key blocks. Evan Engram has struggled as a run-blocker in his career, but Kaden Smith might flourish in this role.

Kaden Smith, the undrafted rookie out of Standford, is an excellent blocker from the tight end position. He did a superb job as a lead blocker once he was put into the starting lineup in Week 12. Take this block against the Washington Redskins as a perfect example:

Jason Garrett is a bright offensive mind and he will carve out a defined role for Evan Engram in 2020. This role will maximize his athleticism and receiving talents. But a role will also be carved out for Kaden Smith as he enters his second season. Throughout Garrett’s time in Dallas, he coached one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the sport: Jason Witten.

Witten was never an extraordinary athlete or explosive route runner. But he was always a dependable receiver with a high football IQ that allowed him to find soft spots in defenses and get open. Witten was also an excellent run-blocker. This is similar to Kaden Smith’s playing style. He could fit that Witten role in Garrett’s offense with the Giants.

In his 5 games as a starter in 2019, Kaden Smith caught 22 of his 30 targets (73% catch rate) for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was one of the most dependable receivers on the field for the Giants. Likely receiving an expanded role in 2020, Kaden Smith could have a breakout season in store for the Giants.

Be sure to check out our Kaden Smith highlight video on YouTube here:

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New York Giants: Why Evan Engram should make the move to wide receiver

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The New York Giants’ offense has the potential to be a top-5 offense in the NFL. In 2019, the Giants’ offensive weapons were never on the field at the same time. Hopefully, everyone stays healthy this year, and fans get to see then offense in full gear—especially Evan Engram, who is going into a contract year.

There’s reason for excitement regarding Evan Engram; it’s time for him to break out and have a huge season. For Engram to have a tremendous year, making the move to wide receiver could be more beneficial.

To sum up the idea, he has the size, hands, and speed. Also, It won’t be a drastic change for him, and I think it will keep Engram on the field for more than eight games. In Pat Shurmur’s offensive system, Engram was used as a blocking tight end who would swing out for passes. Regardless of what happened last year, Engram needs a new system, he can’t be stuck blocking defensive ends and linebackers.

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As shown above, Engram missed half of the 2019 season. Also, the Giants added Levine Toilolo to the depth chart. This was a necessary move, Toilolo is a massive body blocking tight end who can fill in for Engram. As well as Kaden Smith, Smith could fill in for Engram as he makes the move to wide receiver. Utlimaltlety, Toilolo will be a great run-blocking tight end for Saquon Barkley. Overall, the Giants don’t have to worry about tight end, they have multiple options to choose from.

Giants need a big-body receiver

Going into the 2020 season, the Giants don’t have a big-body wide receiver. With the addition of a big-body wide receiver, this could help Daniel Jones grow into a star; Engram could be the perfect weapon. For starters, he’s a mismatch nightmare; Engram is bigger than a lot of NFL cornerbacks. Also, Engram has the wheels to beat at cornerback down the sideline, I can see Engram playing out wide and going up for jump balls. I see Engram’s potential very similar to George Kittles’s game, in terms of receiving.

Overall, Evan Engram can be a true threat at wide receiver, and the Giants should consider it. The opportunities are endless for Engram, keeping him healthy and off the offensive line will be a huge factor in 2020.

New York Giants: Why Evan Engram Will Be A Top Tight End This Season

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The New York Giants‘ offense has a respectable group of playmakers for Daniel Jones to share the football with throughout his second season. In 2020, the Giants have a new coaching staff. Joe Judge was brought in to replace Pat Shurmur after two disappointing seasons.

On the offensive side of the ball, Judge made a splash hire. After spending ten years as the head coach of one of the Giants’ biggest rivals, Jason Garrett left the Dallas Cowboys and joined Joe Judge’s staff in New York. Garrett will serve as the Giants’ offensive coordinator.

The Giants’ previous two offensive coordinators were the team’s head coaches. Now, the offensive coordinator will run the offense and call plays while the head coach oversees the entirety of the team.

A signature aspect of Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme is the heavy usage of the tight end position. Jason Witten had a Hall of Fame-caliber career during his time with Garrett and the Cowboys. One of the Giants’ most talented playmakers is their tight end, Evan Engram. Pairing him with Jason Garrett could lead to a huge season from the fourth-year tight end.

Why Evan Engram Will Break Out In 2020

The biggest challenge for Evan Engram throughout his three-year NFL career so far has been staying healthy. Evan has already missed 14 games in three years. But by the looks of it, Evan Engram is healthy and will be ready to go for the 2020 NFL season:

Keeping Evan Engram healthy and on the field will be crucial to the offense’s success in 2020. Engram is usually a top target in the team’s offensive scheme, but his role might even increase with the acquisition of Jason Garrett.

Between the ages of 25 and 31, Jason Witten was targeted in the Cowboys offense an average of 127 times a year–and that was despite their having a legitimate No. 1 receiver and a top rushing attack. – Gene Clemons of Giants County

In 2019, Evan Engram was tied for the second-most targets per game by tight ends in the NFL with 8.5. Engram only played in 8 games though, and a healthy season with a high target volume could lead to a breakout performance. In those first five games, Evan was averaging 9.6 targets per game, 74.6 yards per game, and totaled 2 touchdown receptions.

In his rookie 2017 season, Evan Engram was healthy and played in 15 games. That season, he was the Giants’ primary receiving option and received a whopping 115 targets. Evan caught 64 of those targets, totaling 722 yards and 6 touchdowns. Hopefully, the Giants can replicate that success in 2020.

New York Giants: Evan Engram Still A Top Player According To PFF

New York Giants, Evan Engram

There’s not many players on the roster of the New York Giants who have had as many troubles with injuries and staying healthy as Evan Engram has. The tight end was praised around the league for his rookie performance but hasn’t quite lived up to that in subsequent seasons, and his troubles staying on the field have caused a lot of fans to question if the Giants are making the right decision by keeping him on the roster.

This season looks like a make or break one for Engram. By now, fans are expecting an improvement from last season or for the Giants to move on from Engram entirely. And despite the past struggles, some of the experts analyzing the league are still high on Engram’s chances this year.

Evan Engram: A top tight end in the league?

Pro Football Focus had good things to say about the player.

Only Kelce (77), Kittle (65), Gronkowski (65), Ertz (64) and Waller (61) have averaged more receiving yards per game than Engram (52) among all TEs since 2017. His average of 7.7 targets per game with Daniel Jones under center in 2019 and was just below Golden Tate (8.4) and Sterling Shepard (8.3) Note that backup TE Kaden Smith assumed a similarly productive role when Engram missed time last season.

Engram will need to stay on the field to take advantage of the potential he’s shown so far, however. Even a great player only has a limited impact overall when they spend much of the season on the sideline. And Engram spent a lot of time on the sideline during 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, Engram played in 11 games. In 2019, his injury problems only got worse rather than better. Engram played in 8 games that year, and only 6 of them were starts. He had his lowest total yards out of his three years in the league, too.

What does it mean? That Engram is still largely a mixed bag for the Giants.

When he’s healthy, he’s one of the most promising players at the position. But that’s not a given, and for the past couple of years, Engram hasn’t been healthy enough to live up to that. This season will be important for Engram as a chance to prove that these injury filled seasons were flukes and not the norm.

And if Engram can’t prove that, the Giants may just decide his production when healthy isn’t worth dealing with his absences due to injury.

Watch: New York Giants’ Evan Engram will be healthy to start 2020 season

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The New York Giants struggled for a variety of reasons in 2019, one of them being the injury bug took its toll on the team. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones wasn’t given much in terms of playmaking talent as Saquon Barkley went down with a high ankle sprain, Evan Engram missed half the season with a foot sprain, and Sterling Shepard was in an out due to multiple concussions. Don’t forget about Golden Tate‘s four-game suspension to open the year and Darius Slayton missing the first two games of the campaign as well.

Jones didn’t play a single contest with his entire supporting cast, but 2020 might be a bit different as his players are getting stronger and will likely be prepared to start the 2020 season with a full bill of health.

One of the more questionable players leading up to the present day was Evan Engram, who was still in a walking boot a few months ago but is now running and cutting nicely. The Giants exercised their fifth-year option on the young tight end, and they are expecting him to be productive this year after having Lisfranc surgery on his foot. The scheduled start of training camp is less than a month away, and Engram is working hard to prepare himself for the physicality, and intensity football brings.

Engram posted a workout video on Monday showing him running without a boot and cutting for the first time publicly.

The last three seasons for the former Mississippi talent have gone poorly due to injury. His rookie campaign was by far his best, posting 722 yards and six touchdowns. Last season in eight games, he posted 467 yards with three touchdowns, taking significant steps backward every season since his inception into the NFL.

However, plenty of players have returned from injury-plagued starts to their careers and ended up being productive and efficient. The Giants have two years left of Engram and his speedy abilities, and maximizing them will be essential for new offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett. When healthy, Evan is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, and they desperately need him to remain that way in the future. Jones will certainly benefit from his talents.

New York Giants: 2020 A Prove-It Year For TE Evan Engram

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The New York Giants‘ offense is loaded with young, explosive talent. This year, those young players will be taught by a new coaching staff. Head coach Joe Judge replaced Pat Shurmur, an offensive-minded coach that had little success in two years with the New York Giants. Now the Giants will implement the Air Coryell offense with their new coordinator, Jason Garrett.

Jason Garrett will combine his scheme with a stable of talented playmakers in 2020. One player to keep a keen eye on in particular is tight end Evan Engram. Evan Engram is entering a prove-it year in 2020 and could be one of the NFL’s breakout players if all goes well.

Staying Healthy

The biggest challenge for Evan Engram throughout his three-year NFL career so far has been staying healthy. Evan has already missed 14 games in three years. When Engram is healthy, he is a versatile playmaker in the Giants’ offense. Unfortunately, Giants fans have yet to see Engram reach his full potential as he has struggled to stay on the field more and more year after year.

Why Evan Engram Could Break Out In 2020

Every year, Giants fans prepare and excite themselves for Evan Engram’s breakout season. But it just has not happened yet. The reason why, as previously mentioned, is the injury history. But in 2020, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Evan Engram will finally break out.

There is a ton of untapped potential stored within Evan Engram’s skillset. At 6 feet 3 inches, 240 pounds, with a lightning-fast 4.42 forty-yard dash time, Evan Engram is one of the most athletic and dynamic tight ends in the NFL. Not to mention the fact that Evan is only 25 years-old.

As a rookie in 2017, Giants fans saw the most of Evan Engram. That season, Engram played in 15 games and totaled 722 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Giants’ primary receiving option (receiving 115 targets). Engram’s second season saw regression caused by injuries. Under new head coach Pat Shurmur, Evan totaled 577 yards and 3 touchdowns in 11 games.

Evan Engram’s 2019 season was off to a blazing hot start before being derailed by injuries. Through the first five weeks of the 2019 NFL season, Evan Engram was averaging 9.6 targets per game, 74.6 yards per game, and totaled 2 touchdown receptions. After those first five weeks, Engram only played in three more games that season and was clearly not at full health when he was on the field.

Evan Engram saw an increased role in the beginning of the 2019 season and he rose to the occasion. He was an efficient, and improved player prior to suffering his injury. Now the Giants have a new offensive coordinator and new offensive scheme to implement in 2020. Luckily for Evan Engram, Jason Garrett loves to utilize the tight end position end helped Jason Witten have one of the best careers ever by a tight end during his time in Dallas. If Evan Engram stays healthy in 2020, it will be his breakout season.

What If Evan Engram Does Not Prove Himself In 2020?

Regardless of whether or not Engram breaks out in 2020, the Giants still need to pick up Evan Engram’s fifth-year option. It is the financially responsible thing to do. Engram is the best tight end on the Giants’ roster and the team cannot afford to just let him walk in free agency next offseason. He has proven that he has enough talent to garner a lucrative contract if he does hit free agency. The Giants’ best course of action will be to pick up Engram’s fifth-year option and keep him on an affordable salary in 2021, even if he does break out this season.

If Engram stays healthy and has an impressive 2020 season, fans will then question whether or not he is a one-year wonder. Consistency is key in the NFL and Evan has not been consistently healthy. The Giants cannot commit to Engram long-term until he proves he can play a 16 game season. Picking up his fifth-year option next offseason is a no-brainer, but what the Giants should do with Engram after that will be determined down the road.