A Make or Break Season For Engram in NY

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) catches the ball during OTA practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday, June 4, 2021, in East Rutherford. Giants Ota Practice

The tight end position has evolved a ton throughout the history of the NFL. Tight ends have gone from being used specifically for blocking to being more of a receiving threat. In the NFL today, several tight ends have more of a wide receiver build than a prototypical tight end build. In the 2017 draft, the New York Giants selected Evan Engram with the 23rd pick in the first round, thinking he would be this type of new-age tight end. 

First Few Seasons

In Engram’s rookie season, it looked like he was going to be the real deal. Engram’s athleticism and speed proved to be a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses, as he caught 64 passes for 722 yards and six touchdowns. But since his first professional season, Engram’s productivity has quickly diminished. 

Engram had dealt with a multitude of injuries in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Engram played just 19 games through those two years and matched his 2017 total of touchdowns with 6 combined. Engram’s inability to stay on the field was a major concern for the Giants, but his durability improved last season as he played all 16 games. 

Up and Down 2020 Campaign

During the 2020 season, Engram had shown flashes of what made him such a highly regarded prospect, but he still was plagued with inconsistency. Throughout the season there were plenty of mind-boggling dropped passes from Engram. In 2020, Engram had the second most dropped passes with 11, according to Pro Football Reference. In addition to his drops, there were six interceptions on passes where he was targeted, which is also the second-most in the NFL, according to Pro Football Reference. 

Despite his flaws in the 2020 season, Engram still managed to be named a Pro Bowler, which was surprising. Engram caught 63 passes for 654 yards but totaled just one receiving touchdown. He also managed to get his first career rushing touchdown. 

The Giants still hold great faith in Engram’s ability as they exercised his fifth-year option, but now coming into 2021, this will be a crucial season. After this year, Engram will become a free agent and it will be interesting to see if New York will pursue a contract extension or let him walk.