Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram really only has one knock going into the 2017 NFL draft: He’s too small.

At 6-3 and 234 pounds, Evan Engram will be one of the smallest tight ends in the NFL. That being said, small tight ends like former third-round pick Jordan Reed (6-2, 246) have been successful in the league.The 22-year-old Engram played four seasons in

The 22-year-old Engram played four seasons in Mississippi and hauled in a total of 162 passes for 2,320 yards and 15 touchdowns. He lined up as a tight end, slot receiver and wide out, and was an important weapon for quarterback Chad Kelly in clutch situations.

Engram isn’t as complete as O.J. Howard or as athletic as David Njoku, but the Georgia-born pass-catcher is a good all-around athlete. Engram is probably the most fluid route runner in the tight end class. He also has long arms and huge hands to haul in passes far away from his frame. However, his lean frame makes him an inconsistent blocker as a tight end. Now, if you feed Engram’s attributes into MockDraftable‘s comparison tool, you almost exclusively get comparisons from one position group: Wide Receivers.

 

Screenshot from MockDraftable.com

 

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to Evan Engram – the wide receiver.

When Engram had a great week at the Senior Bowl in January, he got high praise as one of the best route runners there. Not just among tight ends. He was one of the best route runners there. That includes guys like Cooper Kupp, Zay Jones, Trent Taylor and Ryan Switzer. Saying that Engram is a better route runner than Switzer is probably an overreaction, but Engram did have a great week in Mobile. At the Combine, he posted receiver-like numbers:

 

  • 40-yard dash: 4.42 sec
  • Broad jump: 125″
  • Vertical jump: 36″
  • 3-cone: 6.92 sec

 

Engram was among the top tight ends in all categories but was also better than most wide receivers in both the 40-yard dash and vertical jump. The fact that Ole Miss used him a lot – with success – out of the slot, should make NFL teams thinking about drafting this guy as a receiver. In the image above, Engram compares to successful NFL receivers like Jordan Matthews, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas.

 

 

Engram is explosive off of the line of scrimmage and follows through with light feet and loose hips. He’s a mismatch monster all over the field and has the springiness and coordination to bring down every pass. Engram brings the ball in effortlessly and has the physicality to finish and fight for yards. With a 40-time at 4.42, he can also be your deep threat.

 

 

Engram has two flaws: He is too small to be a tight end, and he’s inconsistent as a blocker. A position switch would make those flaws disappear. When looking at his game tape, he really is a 6-3, 234-pound wide receiver. And, where do you draft a productive, 6-3, 235-pound wide receiver with 4.42 speed, crazy-long arms as well as huge hands?

Sounds a lot like a first-rounder to me.

SHARE