Evan Engram comes into the draft as an exciting prospect at tight end. He has a lot to offer and multiple teams will be looking at what he can provide.
Speed. Speed. And more speed. That is the main takeaway from the Engram’s combine. Top of the tight end class, Engram made sure to open some eyes.
Weight: 234 lbs
40-Yard Dash: 4.42 seconds
Bench Press: 19
Vertical Jump: 36 inches
Broad Jump: 125 inches
Speed, explosive, athlete. These are all words that can be associated with Evan Engram. Coming into the draft, Engram is arguably one of the best receiving tight ends available. When watching Engram play for Ole Miss, he is a massive mismatch on offense. Something many teams will crave at the tight end position. Someone who can cause havoc going down the field and causing problems for the defense. Getting in the middle of the field in between the linebackers and safeties with speed and athleticism makes it extremely challenging to defend. Good luck when dealing with Engram in this situation. Want someone to compete for catches? Engram is your guy. On several occasions, Engram makes these catches that others would miss. With his speed, he is able to cause separation against the defender while also being able to adjust his body, preparing for the incoming ball. If needed, Engram is more than willing to leap over defenders to make that catch. Added to this, Engram has the ability to reach and extend for the ball which gives the quarterback are larger radius when making the throw. Engram has the ability to make the difference in important situations.
Another area that has to be looked at is Engram’s ability when he has the ball in his hands. In the open field, Engram has a devastating second gear. This ability makes Engram stand out. Engram has an eye for the ball. Coming off the line on any play, Engram is always prepared. As a soon as he gets that ball, he is off. I feel sorry any defenders trying to catch him because they don’t stand much of a chance. He is a really exciting player to watch. A mixture of speed, explosiveness and athleticism makes him deadly. Having this impressive yards after catch ability will make teams really consider their picks. Engram is a legitimate weapon that can abuse defences.
When playing at Ole Miss, Engram commonly lined up as a slot tight end. This is understandable with him being such an impressive receiver. He offers the ability to be almost lined up anywhere on offense. As stated above, this adds to the mismatch he provides. This allows for the offense to either use his ability going down filed and in the seams, or, use his ability to look for weak spots in the secondary and go up for those contested and challenging catches.
Engram isn’t your standard type of tight end. He offers something different and exciting at the position. A number teams will be looking for his service. I don’t blame them.
The main standout weakness that comes up with Engram is his blocking. This seems to be an area that is heavily criticized by those who have already scouted him. Having the ability to block as a tight end can be a very important asset especially in run plays. Although he is willing to block and put effort into it, Engram appears to be inconsistent which it makes it difficult for teams to rely on this skill. This suggests this is one of the reasons why he lined up more in the slot for Ole Miss rather than the traditional in line tight end. In the NFL, if Engram is unable to improve his blocking this could become an issue for teams that will consider his talents.
While this may not be massive issue with Engram, he could do with refining his route running. It would give him an even better chance in causing separation and not just relying on his speed and athleticism
There is no doubt that Engram is a talented and exciting player. He is a play maker that many teams are looking for in making the difference on offense. Being a mismatch, he has the ability to offer a wide range skills going down the field. His blocking is clearly going to be an issue and may result in some teams passing on him. However it has to be said that Engram is at least willing to block when needed and I am sure he will do what he can to improve. Whoever drafts him is for sure getting an impressive asset and with the right team could provide versatility on offense.
RAF Big Board Ranking: #45
Draft Prediction: I think it would be reasonable to suggest that Engram will go on the second day in the draft. With the versatility he provides, a few teams will be interested in him on the second day. I feel that he will go late second round or early third round.