The New York Giants likely didn’t need to use a first-round pick to bolster their tight end position but got an instant impact playmaker in Evan Engram.
The 6-foot-3, 234-pound tight end caught 65 passes for 952 yards and scored eight touchdowns in his senior season at Ole Miss and should be a coveted fantasy football target in his rookie year.
While the depth of weapons in New York’s offense is a cause for concern, Engram is sure to have a significant role within the offense. The No. 23 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.42 second) of any tight end at the NFL Scouting Combine, and proved himself a matchup nightmare for defensive backs and linebackers in the Southeastern Conference.
The Giants have plenty desirable fantasy football options in 2017, including wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard, but Eli Manning’s love for tight ends should give Engram plenty of opportunities this season.
Manning threw 113 passes to tight ends in 2016, but Will Tye, Larry Donnell, and Jerell Adams were unable to capitalize on the targets. Tye led New York’s tight end group, catching 48 of 70 passes for 395 yards.
New York has not had a tight end of Engram’s caliber since Martellus Bennett’s single season with Big Blue in 2012, or Jeremy Shockey back at the beginning of Manning’s NFL career.
Despite the lack of talent at the position, former Giants tight ends Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard, and Larry Donnell all recorded over 550 receiving yards and at least four touchdown receptions in a single season with Manning. Both Ballard and Donnell joined the Giants as undrafted free agents, and Boss and Ballard were unable to sustain success with other franchises.
Engram could very well end up being Manning’s best tight end by the time No. 10 decides to call it a career, but at the very least the Giants rookie should prove himself a fantasy football stud.