The night of the 2017 NFL draft, my only hope for the Giants was that they wouldn’t draft Garett Bolles. You can only imagine how elated I was when he was selected by Denver two picks before the Giants were on the clock. However, when O.J. Howard got selected right before Bolles and three picks before the Giants selected, I was crushed. Howard was the one player I REALLY wanted. When it became clear there was no chance he would last to the 23rd pick, it was devastating to come so close to my dream player.
When it is time to become informed on NFL prospects, I trust the evaluations of the experts. As a Rutger alumni, my Saturdays are spent watching the Scarlet Knights and the national top 25 match-ups. Ole Miss was never on my TV screen. When the Giants selected Evan Engram in the first round, my first reaction was “who?”, followed by “couldn’t we have just taken Gerald Everrett in round 2?”.
Five months later, no one is second guessing Jerry Reese’s first round choice. Engram was one of the few bright spots in a historically (3rd and 33) embarrassing day for the Giants organization. Let’s take a look at his performance against the LA Rams.
The Giants offense should prioritize getting Engram the ball out in space to allow him to make plays after the catch. On this play, he exhibits good hands and immediately turns up field to take a short throw for 13 yards.
Look at the defensive back stumble as Engram comes out of his break. This is one of the best plays I have seen from Engram all year. In fact, every play I see from Engram is the best play I have seen from a Giants tight end in the past three years. Isolated on the outside against a defensive back, he shows off his quick feet by catching a short throw on a hitch route and taking the ball up the sideline.
Engram shows off his pure speed on this route and gains a few yards of separation on the defensive back. It’s possible Eli was so shocked to see a Giants tight end with that much separation that in his excitement the ball sailed on him. I’ll give him a slight pass on this throw.
What was most impressive by this catch is the way Engram immediately snapped his head around after getting around the defensive back on the seam route. He attacked the football at it’s highest point and never seemed concerned about taking a hit from the safety coming down to make a play on the ball. His ability to make plays over the middle of the field will open things up more for Odell Beckham when he’s back in 2018.
Ronde Barber compared Engram to Randy Moss after his TD catch. Enough said.