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New York Giants Off the Clock: First-Round Pick Tight End Evan Engram, Ole Miss Rebels
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9 May 2017 05:05 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram runs away from defender in bowl game. (Image Source: USA TODAY Sports Images)

The New York Giants had six picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, one in each of the first six rounds. As we take the G-Men “Off the Clock,” we’ll break down all six of their draft picks, beginning with their first-round selection:

Round 1; Pick 23 (23rd Overall): TE Evan Engram, Ole Miss

Measurables: It’s the tale of two measurables with Engram. There’s no way around the fact that he doesn’t fit the bill when it comes to size, as the SEC product is just 6’3” and 234 pounds, the lightest tight end drafted in this class. On the flip side, he’s probably the most-athletic tight end in this class. Engram blew away the field with his 4.42 40-yard dash (98th percentile among tight ends at the combine). More than just straight-line speed, his 10’5” broad jump (94th percentile), 6.92 three-cone time (86th percentile), 36” vertical (83rd percentile), and 4.23 short shuttle (79th percentile) were all among the best results at the position. Among tight ends, Engram had the fourth-highest SPARQ score, ahead of O.J. Howard who was the 19th overall pick.

Skill Set: We’re talking about an elite pass catcher who can really stretch the field down the seam, as well as make plays after the catch. His route running and overall skill set is that of a wide receiver, which to some extent, was his position at Ole Miss. He’s explosive off the snap and smooth when cutting to find open spaces or beat man coverage. Great footwork and lateral agility make him a weapon in the open field and his leaping ability give him the edge when going up to get the football.

New York Jets Off the Clock: Off Needs | Def Needs | Jamal Adams |

Value: This could be viewed as a bit of reach in the sense that most had Engram slotted to go in the second round and very few had the Ole Miss man as the No. 2 tight end in this class. That doesn’t mean he won’t turn out to be a great football player, but at the moment, it wasn’t a value pick at No. 23.

Need: Addressing the tight end position was one of New York’s biggest needs heading into the draft. Will Tye averaged just 8.2 yards per catch last season and as unit, their tight ends picked up only 7.7 yards per reception, dead last in the NFL.

Mogollon’s Pick: Tight end was a need. So was running back. As much as Engram will help New York’s passing attack, adding a back like Dalvin Cook would have done wonders for a running game that ranked 29th in the league. He’s a dynamic playmaker who can impact both the run and throw games.

Who Else Did They Pass Up? Sticking with a tight end, most had Miami’s David Njoku (No. 29) as the second tight end in this class behind Howard. New York’s biggest need on offense was offensive tackle with Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk (No. 32) and Cam Robinson (No. 34) out of Alabama both still on the board. On the defensive side of the ball, tackle Malik McDowell (No. 35) would have filled their biggest need there, while providing a high upside and a complementary skill set to space-eating noseman Damon Harrison. If he’s healthy Alabama man Reuben Foster (No. 31) has the ability to step in and start from Day 1, a potential difference maker at linebacker.

NFL Draft Off the Clock: Picks 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20, 21-24, 25-28, 29-32

The Fit: Yes and no. Engram fits the need at tight end but possibly in label only. He will be very limited as a blocker and will take time to develop as an inline player. What I do like is how at his size he will complement the skill sets of wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Headman Ben McAdoo likes to get three wide receivers on the field most of the time.

2017 Outlook & Beyond: As a “move tight end” it’s unclear what Engram’s role will be as a rookie. He could struggle when asked to play along the line and will probably do most of his damage as a receiver when he can line up wide or out of the slot. It’s possible Engram will backup wide outs Brandon Marshall and Shepard, as much as he plays tight end this season. What he will do for sure, is create mismatches. Moving forward, he could take over Marshall’s role as the big receiver and compete with Shepard as New York’s No. 2 pass catcher behind OBJ. We should not rule out Engram’s ability to get bigger, stronger, and improve his blocking technique which would allow him to play more of the traditional tight end role as he matures and develops.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email:

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