Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants needed a tight end and on the first day of the draft, they landed one with Evan Engram.
As the countdown commenced to the 23rd overall pick, many fans were hoping for O.J. Howard from Alabama. Considering he is the best overall tight end of the draft class. However, he didn’t get to the Giants. Instead, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the TE four spots earlier.
But with Howard taken, it didn’t deter the Giants from addressing a major need at tight end. Instead of the overwhelming favorite in Howard, the Giants landed Evan Engram from Ole Miss with their first round pick.
Although many saw Engram as a second round selection, the Giants had high regards for him. He has drawn a lot of comparisons to at least one NFL tight end. The one name that Engram connects with the most is Washington Redskins tight end, Jordan Reed. Reed has been one of the best tight ends in the league over the last couple of years and a solid playmaker, recording 17 touchdowns during that time.
In his senior year at Ole Miss, Engram was one of the top tight ends in the country, as he hauled in 65 catches for 926 yards and eight touchdowns. At 6’4″ and 23o pounds, Engram is being viewed as a tight end in a big wide receiver’s body, which will play to the Giants advantage.
The Giants already have playmakers in Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard. With Rhett Ellison as the blocking tight end, now the Giants have a pass catching threat with Engram’s arrival. Engram’s size can also create a massive mismatch, as linebackers will have trouble with his speed. Cornerbacks will have trouble with his size, as will safeties. As if trying to stop Beckham and Marshall will be tough enough, now throw Engram into the mix. Good luck, NFL defenses with that and trying to cover them all one-on-one.
Ultimately, it’s been something the Giants have been in need for several years now.
The tight end spot has been a bit of a revolving door for the Giants. Once they traded away Jeremy Shockey in 2008, it’s been one tight end after the other. Kevin Boss, there for several years, helped them win Super Bowl XLII. Then it was Jake Ballard, who helped them win Super Bowl XLVI. But Ballard also tore his ACL in the game and his career was never the same. Then came Martellus Bennett, who was a legitimate option, but left after one season in free agency.
Since Bennett, it’s been a lot of disappointments at the spot. Brandon Myers was a flat out disaster. Larry Donnell never panned out either. But now, the Giants have a legitimate threat whom they can use in the offense for years to come in Engram.
Before Thursday night, the Giants had to get a tight end. They succeeded in a big way with the pick of Evan Engram.