New York Giants: Evan Engram Primed For Big Year After OBJ Departure

If there’s any single player that will benefit from the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., it’s New York Giants pass-catching tight end Evan Engram. The third-year player is primed for a breakout season, considering he will be a more prominent piece in the passing game.

In 2017, Engram recorded 722 yards and six scores after Beckham broke his ankle against the San Diego Chargers. The undersized tight end showed where his value resided, giving the Giants an opportunity to extract his potential. While his blocking abilities aren’t as strong as Scott Simonson or Rhett Ellison’s, he is the most deadly with the ball in his hands.

Why trading Odell Beckham Jr. is good for Evan Engram:

When Beckham was on the field, nearly every player saw their totals drop significantly, as he rightfully attracted a lot of attention. The ball needed to be in his hands, or so most thought.

To put things into perspective, Engram averaged a mere 36.7 yards per game receiving when Beckham was on the field. In the final four games where the star receiver was injured, he averaged an astounding 80 yards per game – more than double. His yards per reception with OBJ present was 13.58, and without, 16.43.

Everything about Engram’s game was elevated the second the offense was opened up to the bigger picture. When utilizing the tight end effectively, the Giants put up a massive amount of points. In week 14, Big Blue had their most productive game – scoring 40 points without Beckham as they utilized Engram on three catches for 77 yards. Additionally, Saquon Barkley ran for 170 yards and a score on just 14 carries.

While I’m not trying to take away anything from OBJ, as he’s an incredibly influential player, we shouldn’t be worried about the efficiency of the offense. With an upgraded offensive line, the entire unit should be more productive.

Head coach Pat Shurmur commented on Engram’s impact in 2018:

“He had production when he was in there, but then he got hurt a few times,” Shurmur said at the NFL Annual Meeting. “By the end he was feeling good, running well and playing well. That is a function of Evan doing his thing.”

When factoring out Engram’s usefulness as a receiver, he becomes an average tight end at best. The knock on him is his blocking, but Shurmur is convinced that he’s not as bad as most think.

“I think he can block better than you do,” Shurmur told skeptics. “I think his whole game improved when he became healthy. He is a willing blocker.”

I do agree that Evan is a far better player when healthy, an easy assumption to make. He’s more than capable of playing at a high level, but eliminating dropped balls and further developing his ability to block will be a priority moving forward.

 

 

New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins Performs During On-Field Workouts At The Combine

On Saturday, the quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers participated in the NFL Combine. Many players helped improve their draft stock by impressing in the on-field workouts.

The quarterbacks got to show off their accuracy and arm strength during the on-field workouts. While the prospects were throwing at the Combine, all eyes were on one quarterback in particular: Dwayne Haskins Jr. from Ohio State University.

Dwayne Haskins Combine Highlights

One thing that scouts and analysts immediately noted for Dwayne Haskins was how quickly the ball zipped out of his hand. He has great arm strength. On top of that, Haskins can make every throw. And he can do it better than every other prospect who threw on Saturday.

To start the on-field throwing drills, the quarterbacks threw slant routes. On these slant routes, Haskins showed off his arm strength. As Daniel Jeremiah noted, you can see the ball jump out of his hand. He completed every pass and put the ball in stride and on the money on every throw during the slants.

During the curl-routes and out-routes drills, Haskins impressed. Dwayne showed great timing anticipation during these drills. His accuracy in the intermediate range was a strength in college, and that seemed no different at the combine.

Dwayne Haskins showed off his deep accuracy on the corner routes. The prospects were struggling with this throw before Haskins took a crack at it. Kurt Warner even said the prospects were completing about 10% of the throws. But once Dwayne Haskins stepped up to throw, that changed. He put every throw right on the money. He had great height on his passes and tremendous accuracy, touch, to go along with perfect timing.

Giants fans everywhere will agree with Daniel Jeremiah: Giants’ super star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could have corralled the second pass by Haskins. Engram, too. Dwayne Haskins could be the future of the Giants’ franchise come April. The Giants seem to like him.

New York Giants’ offensive coordinator Mike Shula payed extra attention to Dwayne Haskins on Saturday. The team met with Dwayne on Friday night, then continued to scout him on Saturday. According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, Shula spent a lot of time chatting with Haskins on the sideline.

…Giants OC Mike Shula did stand and chat with Dwayne Haskins on the sideline during the early portion of today’s throwing session for about 8-10 minutes. Didn’t see that with anyone else. Shula also put Haskins through his initial throws before the WR portion. – Pat Leonard

Haskins was officially weighed and measured on Friday. He stood tall at 6 foot 3 and three eighths and weighed 231 pounds. It is safe to say Haskins is a big guy. Unfortunately for Dwayne Haskins, he is not a fast big guy. He ran a 5.04 40 yard dash at the Combine. He was the slowest quarterback in his group.

A good thing for Dwayne Haskins is that he is more of a thrower than a runner. His slow 40 time will not affect his draft stock at all because it is not important. Haskins will never be asked to run 40 yards straight down the field. He is a strong-armed accurate passer. He plays his best when he has time in the pocket and can scan the field. Dwayne Haskins is an accurate, pro-style quarterback.

New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys Post-Game Analysis – What Now?

The New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys for the final game of the season. The Giants came into the game with a 5-10 record, already eliminated from the playoffs. The Cowboys arrived with a 9-6 record, already clinched a playoff spot. With a loss today, the Giants fall to 5-11 while the Cowboys move to 10-6.

Up And Down Offense:

Overall, the Giants’ offense played a great game. They totaled 35-points and got big games out of Barkley and Engram. However, quarterback Eli Manning did turn the ball over twice and the team was unable to move the ball on the final possession of the game.

Saquon Barkley had a record setting day. Barkley had 142 total yards today (109 on the ground, 33 through the air), which put him over 2,000 yards on the season. That made Barkley the third running back in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards in their rookie season, joining elite company.

In addition, Barkley had three receptions today which helped him set the record for the most receptions by a rookie running back in NFL history. Barkley finished the season with 90 receptions, surpassing the previous record of 88 held by Reggie Bush. Barkley had a rushing touchdown today, his eleventh on the season. That set a Giants franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a rookie’s season.

Quarterback Eli Manning had a slow start to the game. He threw a red zone interception on the Giants’ first drive, the followed that up with a lost fumble on the next drive. After that, Manning responded well with 301 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. One was to wide receiver Cody Latimer, who hauled in Eli’s perfect pass with one hand for a touchdown. The other was a throw to the flat that Engram turned upfield and dove into the end zone with.

Lousy Defense:

The Giants’ offense was able to put up a big 35 points on Sunday, but the defense let up a whopping 36 points. Edge rusher Olivier Vernon had a big game with 2.5 sacks, but there is only so much one player can do. The Giants’ secondary got picked apart throughout the game.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 387 yards and 4 passing touchdowns with zero interceptions on the day. Tight end Blake Jarwin had a field day against the Giants with 119 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants defense had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, up 7 with the Cowboys looking at a fourth and fifteen. Unfortunately, the Giants were not able to make the stop. Dak Prescott connected with wide receiver Cole Beasley for the touchdown on fourth and fifteen. The Cowboys then converted the two point attempt to put the team on top 36-35.

Aftermath Of The Loss:

With this loss, the Giants are locked into a top eight pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. They currently hold the sixth pick and have room for improvement. If the Raiders win this week, the Giants can move all the way up to the fourth pick. This can come as a huge silver lining to Giants fans who are already looking ahead to the offseason.

New York Giants Collapse In The Final Minutes And Lose To The Colts 28-26

The New York Giants traveled to Indianapolis to play the white hot Colts in week 16. The Colts had won 7 of their last 8 games and were fighting for a playoff spot. The Giants came into this game already eliminated from playoff contention, but refusing to quit. The Giants started the game strong, but ultimately could not finish it off and took a one point loss against the Colts. The Colts improve to a strong 9-6 record on the season while the Giants sink to a lowly 5-10.

Dynamic Offense Leads The Giants To A Strong Start

The Giants had a lead up until the final minute of the game. The offense struggled to get going on the ground, but the passing attack was consistently excellent throughout the majority of the game. The Giants jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter from a strong connection between quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Sterling Shepard. With Odell Beckham Jr. out this week, Shepard stepped up and had his best game of the season. Shepard finished the game with six receptions for 113 yards, including multiple third down conversions and one beautiful double move 57 yard completion down to the six yard line. This set up a Scott Simonson three yard touchdown reception.

Another stand out player on offense this week was tight end Evan Engram. Engram struggled to get going during the first half of the season. He dealt with a couple of injuries and was not used much in the offensive game plan. However, in the past few weeks, Engram has been receiving an influx in targets and therefore an increase in production.

Head coach Pat Shurmur called many plays for Engram including two end around rushing attempts that gained a total of 26 yards. However, it was through the passing game that Engram made a real impact. He hauled in all six of his targets for 87 receiving yards. He got the Giants down to the one yard line twice to set up easy touchdowns for his quarterback, once on a rushing attempt, and once on a deep pass down the seam.

Second Half Collapse

The Giants went into halftime up by 10. The score was 17-7, but the Colts quickly cut it down to a three point game as quarterback Andrew Luck connected with receiver Dontrelle Inman for a touchdown on third and goal. The Giants responded with a touchdown of their own as Manning converted his seventh rushing touchdown of his career on a quarterback sneak from the one yard line.

However, the Colts were able to put together a comeback after this. Running back Marlon Mack rushed for a touchdown to make it a three point game again. The Giants were able to muster up one more field goal, but their inability to score a red zone touchdown in the fourth quarter would ultimately be their demise. The Colts were able to put together a game winning drive on the struggling Giants defense.

They made their way down to the 20 yard line with two minutes remaining. On first and goal, Luck threw an incompletion to the end zone, however, Giants cornerback B.W. Webb was called for pass interference, giving the Colts a first and goal from the one yard line. This would result in a touchdown from Luck to receiver Chester Rogers with under a minute remaining. The Giants would get the ball back with 55 seconds left with the opportunity to score, but they would have the game end with an Eli Manning interception.

The Aftermath Of The Loss

The Giants record is now 5-10 with one game left to play this season. Eli Manning and the Giants offense played a solid game but came up short in the end. The defense struggled to stop the Colts offense in the second half, driving home the tenth loss of the season. With this loss comes a portion of good news. The Giants showed they have multiple young players to build upon for their future, such as Shepard and Engram. In addition, the Giants moved up in draft positioning ahead of the Jaguars and to the seventh overall pick. This loss has potential to be a positive for the Giants in the long run.

New York Giants’ Evan Engram Suffers Potentially Serious Injury

Prior to the New York Giants‘ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 25-22, starting tight end Evan Engram, suffered a hamstring injury during pre-game warm-ups. The injury forced him out of the game and onto the bench as Rhett Ellison filled in valiantly, racking up 77 receiving yards on four catches.

Hamstring injuries can take weeks to heal. As of now, Engram is scheduled to return on Sunday against the Bears, but if he can’t make it through practice this week they will likely keep him sidelined until he’s 100% healthy.

The New York Giants have another tight end that can step up in Evan Engram absence:

To be frank, Ellison looked better than Engram, surviving blocks and catching passes with ease. The Giants’ former first-round pick has struggled to live up to his pre-draft hype, as he was considered a serious receiver off the line and a true threat down the middle of the field. He has yet to prove his worth in New York, but it could also be a result of the scheme.

Engram struggled with dropped passes last season, recording eight. Now, he was a rookie who was forced into a top-receiving role due to injuries, but the drops surely raised a few red-flags. Fast forward to this season and his woes haven’t halted to a complete stop. The receiving tight end dropped a critical pass on fourth down against the Washington Redkins a few weeks back, completely taking any momentum away from the Giants which helped Washington secure the win with ease.

How has Engram performed so far?

So far in the season, Engram has played in just seven of 11 games, starting only five of them. He has ammased just 257 yards and two touchdowns, far less than the 722 and six scores he recorded last season. It seems as if his role has continued to diminish as head coach Pat Shurmur establishes his offensive style.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants try and shop Engram during the offseason. Now, I wouldn’t bet on him leaving the team, but if the Giants can get a good enough deal for him, I wouldn’t sleep on GM Dave Gettlema pulling the trigger.

What Will The New York Giants Do With Evan Engram?

The question of Evan Engram is one of the more interesting ones relating to the New York Giants. The 2017 first round draft pick was expected to take a step forward from last season, where he showed promise and laid a good foundation to improve on. But now that his sophomore season is here, things have been more up and down for Engram. The tight end has been one of the more polarizing players on this year’s Giants team.

Some of the criticism that Engram has gained throughout the season is deserved. Tight ends have to be able to catch the ball or block, and Engram has picked up a reputation for drops. He’s never been a true blocking tight end, so it’s natural that Engram has high expectations when it comes to the passing game.

But on the other hand, it’s important to remember that this is a second year player. It takes time to get used to the differences between the NFL and college, especially for a player that has to run routes and catch the ball against NFL defensive backs. That experience can be gained through more playing time, which is why it’s confusing that the Giants are showing signs of pulling the plug on the Engram experiment already.

Engram was only targeted twice during the Tampa game, catching both passes, but the low numbers can be explained by the fact that he wasn’t on the field very much.

“It was kind of a slow start for me. The team was playing great. But, it took a little bit for me to get into a rhythm with that one catch. I keep telling myself that a big play is going to come. It’s going to happen. Just being there when my number is called, that’s just my mindset,” said Engram, after the win.

However, it seems like his number was called less than usual. He only played 17 snaps, which effectively means that Engram played the Tampa game as backup to Rhett Ellison. Such a switch isn’t something that was foreseen by just about anyone before the start of the season, and is also a reduction of Engram’s playing time compared to the 49ers game where he was targeted five times and had four catches.

What’s the motive for giving Engram less playing time? Well, it’s impossible to know for sure without being inside the Giants locker room and finding out directly from the coaching staff. One possibility is that Engram doesn’t fit into the plans that new head coach Pat Shurmur has, which may differ from those of the previous organization.

But that theory is an odd one. It’s hard to imagine that any coach would have a hard time fitting Engram into their offense. The Giants aren’t a run-centric team that needs larger tight ends who specialize in blocking, and Engram is a versatile threat in the passing game who also benefits from opposing defenses paying more attention to other players, such as Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, and Sterling Shepard.

Additionally, if the Giants want to trade Engram in the offseason to move up in the draft, it would hurt his trade value to cut him out of the game plan. The fact that he only played 17 snaps against Tampa is baffling, and Rhett Ellison hasn’t performed well enough to make the claim that the benching is for performance reasons.

That’s not to say that Engram is performing the same as he did last season. It looks like he might finish with slightly worse stats at this rate, but that makes sense. After all, he was injured in the Houston game and missed a few weeks because of it, earlier in the season.

So why didn’t Engram play much against Tampa? The only conclusion that can be easily assumed is that he doesn’t fit into the team’s preferred strategies. Why that’s the case is a mystery, and something that the public likely won’t know for a while, if ever.

One can only hope that going into the game against Philadelphia, this tactical decision to underutilize a very promising player doesn’t backfire for Pat Shurmur.

Saquon Barkley Powers The New York Giants For Third-Win: Recap

New York Giants

The New York Giants‘ offense finally looked like the offense that fans were expecting to see heading into the season. Coach Pat Shurmur gave the Buccaneers defense a heavy dose of Saquon Barkley.

Barkley finished the day with 27 carries for 142 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. On top of that, Barkley added two receptions for 10 yards and one receiving touchdown. Eli Manning was sharp to start the game, completing his first 11 pass attempts (tying a career high). Manning finished the day with an incredible 94% completion percentage (17/18), 231 yards, and two touchdowns.

He connected on red zone touchdown passes with Barkley and Beckham Jr.

The Giants’ defense gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a rough time early on, forcing three interceptions. Defensive backs Michael Thomas and Curtis Riley each got their first interceptions of the season. Janoris Jenkins dropped an easy interception that was then scooped out of the air by linebacker Alec Ogletree, who then returned the interception back for a touchdown. The poor play of Fitzpatrick lead to his inevitable benching for Jameis Winston in the third quarter.

Winston came in and played a solid half of football. Once Winston came in, the defense appeared to fall asleep, letting up three big touchdown drives to keep the game close.

With a three point lead with five minutes remaining, Manning connected with Evan Engram on a 54 yard reception to get the Giants back in the red zone. This ultimately lead to Saquon Barkley’s third touchdown of the game, extending the Giants lead to ten. The defense then let up a huge touchdown to Mike Evans, but recovered the ensuing onside kick. They were then able to let Barkley run the clock down to thirty seconds and punt the ball back to Tampa Bay. B.W. Webb then finished the game, intercepting Winston with 15 seconds remaining.

Pat Shurmur called a great game. The Giants offense was able to score a season high 38 points in a huge win at home to keep the season alive. The Giants are now on a two game winning streak with a huge divisional game against the Eagles coming up next Sunday. After today’s win, Giants fans should feel hopeful that their team can achieve Odell Beckham Jr.’s goal of winning out and slipping into the playoffs. If the offense keeps up this level of play, they could have a great finish to the season.

Final Score: Giants- 38, Buccaneers- 35.

New York Giants: Vernon, Apple, and Engram To Miss Carolina Game

The New York Giants will lack any extra help in their game tomorrow, against the Carolina Panthers. Injuries ave already piled up this season and the team is missing top players across multiple positions, with Olivier Vernon, Eli Apple, and Evan Engram all recovering from injuries at this point.

Now, we know that none of those players will feature against Carolina, in week five of the season. In fact, Vernon will have not played in the regular season for five straight games, after picking up a high ankle sprain before the preseason could end. It’s been a point of contention with some fans, and will likely result in some more debates as Vernon approaches a fifth straight missed game.

Both he and Eli Apple practiced with the rest of the players earlier this week, however, and it should be a signal that their returns are not as far off as some may think. The Giants head coach, however, has different ideas about what Vernon’s progress is like.

“He was involved in team activities. Typically, a lot of these guys get cranked up in individuals. He probably looked better than you saw,” Pat Shurmur said about Vernon’s current state. Vernon isn’t the only player that’s out, however.

When Evan Engram was injured in the Houston game, we didn’t know if there would be a quick recovery time or if he would be out for a prolonged period of time. But with Engram missing his second straight game, it’s now clear that his injury is more than a minor one. No update has been given about when Engram is expected to come back.

Eli Apple is nearing a return but is being held back for now. “Gotta get back to my normal speed and I’m not there yet,” he said. It’s probably for the better. No team wants to play with a cornerback that is still somewhat injured, and unable to eep up with the other team’s receivers.

The absence of all three players won’t help the Giants’ chances against Carolina, though. Especially with two defensive starters gone, in a game where the pass rush should be one of the keys to the game for New York. However, even if progress is slow, there is progress being made for the top injured players on the team, and that’s encouraging.

Because if the Giants want to take a shot at turning things around, it will have to be at closer to full strength.

New York Giants: Evan Engram Must Fix Biggest Issue

There’s no such thing as an easy rivalry matchup. Just ask the Cincinatti Bengals who barely survived a comeback from the Baltimore Ravens. It will be no different for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys.

The offense for the Giants must come prepared and ready to take down an opponent that will remain breathing until the final seconds. Tight end Evan Enrgam will play a massive role in the strategy – blocking, catching, and playing decoy will be his role. The issue is that Engram has struggled immensely to fix his biggest inadequacy.

In last week’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Engram dropped two passes, an occurrence that has been regular throughout his short career. He must find a way to absolve the frequency of these mishaps, especially with the strength of the Giants’ schedule.

What are Engram’s aspirations for the season ahead, and what does he think of HC Pat Shurmur?

“I have those written up in the apartment. I’m gonna make sure, tell Mom not to take any pictures of those (smile). I just want to just be a great tight end for my team, great player for my team, great leader for my team. Whether that’s pushing guys when we’re down 14, whether it’s making that big touchdown that kind of gets momentum going, or whether it’s just being on the sideline cheering the defense on and just being a great teammate. I have some personal goals that are to myself and that are for me to go get.

In regard to Shurmur:

“I definitely don’t see Coach Shurmur as a guy that settles to be mediocre, and I don’t see this team being that way as well. It was definitely evident that he was in a mode to get here and compete and start winning games and get back to where this franchise had been.”

Falling to 0-2 on the season is simply not an option, and if the luck swings in that direction, we might be looking at another long season. Beating Dallas at home would give the Giants the confidence to push forward towards Houston and then New Orleans. The strength of schedule is tremendous, but you’d be surprised at what a bit of confidence can do for a team.

 

New York Giants: Tight End Evan Engram’s Biggest Weakness Remains

New York Giants, Evan Engram

Rewinding back to the 2017 season for the New York Giants, rookie tight end Evan Engram was a bright light at the end of a seemingly endless dark tunnel. Despite his encouraging development and abilities on the field, he struggled immensely with dropped passes.

Last year, Engram finished with eleven total dropped passes, which hurt the Giants during games. Luckily, those drops weren’t all that influential given the downward trend of the locker room and effort on game-day. In 2018, the starlet tight end will be looking to improve upon his biggest weakness.

How Evan Engram is battling dropped passes for the New York Giants:

Engram has made it a priority to work on his pass-catching this offseason, regularly staying after practice to catch balls from the juggs-machine. After reviewing some of his film from last season, it was obvious that he was battling a lack of focus and jitters. If you’re watched a football game before, you have probably heard the announcers say something along the lines of, “he turned his head up field before securing the catch, which caused him to drop the pass.” This was the problem for Engram last season and it has continue into camp.

Engram amassed 64 total catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns in 2017. The Giants led the league with 45 dropped passes, in which a quarter of them belonged to the rookie tight end.

With the explosion of offensive prowess Engram brings to the team, there’s no excuse for him to limit his abilities with drops. I’m confident that he can be one of the league’s most effective TE’s in the passing game, and with an increase in mass he can be a serviceable blocker as well.