The New York Giants seem to have a dilemma at the tight end position entering the 2022 offseason. Evan Engram is set to be a free agent and it seems likely that Kyle Rudolph will be cut as well. With that being the case, the Giants will need to make a decision on who will start at tight in the 2022 regular season.
Moving on from 2021’s tight ends
Since he was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Evan Engram has failed to live up to expectations. Engram’s career has been summarized with dropped passes in key situations and injuries that keep him off the field during big games. The fanbase has turned on the Ole Miss alum, and it seems as though it may be in the best interest of both parties for Evan Engram to find a new home.
The Giants’ second tight end, Kyle Rudolph, is almost inevitably going to be released this season. Rudolph’s 2021 season was unproductive and plagued by injuries. Releasing their backup tight end would free up $5 million in cap space for New York. The Giants are nearly $10 million over the cap right now, so they need to make this move.
What will the Giants do at tight end in 2022?
With their two starting tight ends from the 2021 season likely on their ways out, what should the Giants do at the position in 2022? There are plenty of options for the Giants at tight end this offseason. Free agency is loaded up with veteran talents at the position. One name to keep an eye on is Hayden Hurst.
Option one: Hayden Hurt and free agency
Hayden Hurst was a first-round pick with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. Hurst, however, was quickly overshadowed by Mark Andrews, who has turned into one of the best tight ends in the NFL in recent years. This led the Ravens to trade Hurst to the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. Hurst has caught nine touchdown passes in two seasons with Atlanta.
Hayden Hurst has had a solid NFL career, being a consistently average-to-above tight end in the league. But the reason that Hurst makes so much sense for the Giants is a crucial coaching connection. The Giants hired tight ends coach Andy Bischoff this offseason. For Hayden Hurst’s first two career seasons, Bischoff was the tight ends coach for the Baltimore Ravens.
Hayden Hurst could team back up with Andy Bischoff and return to form in New York. The Giants need more consistency out of the tight end position running Brian Daboll’s eleven-personnel offensive scheme. Hayden Hurst could give the Giants that consistency, working in tandem with Andy Bischoff.
There are other veteran options available this offseason that could entice the Giants. Outside of Hayden Hurst, players like OJ Howard, Mike Gesicki, Robert Tonyan, and Eric Ebron could make sense for New York.
Option two: Jeremy Ruckert and the NFL Draft
Jeremy Ruckert out of Ohio State is an exciting NFL Draft prospect that makes perfect sense for the New York Giants. Ruckert is a willing blocker with solid receiving skills. His playing style is similar to that of Mark Andrews, the Ravens tight end that Andy Bischoff helped develop into one of the league’s best.
Jeremy Ruckert has all the tools to be a top tight end in the NFL with the right coaching. He is a projected round 2-3 selection and could be the starter in 2022 if drafted by the Giants. Additionally, names like Jake Ferguson (Wisconsin), Cole Turner (Nevada), and Charlie Kolar (Iowa State) could be middle-round options for the New York Giants at tight end.