Could the Giants roll the dice with tight end Evan Engram in 2021 despite his consistent on-field struggles last season?
During a Tuesday press conference, Judge noted he has “a ton of confidence” in the pending fifth-year tight end in spite of his constant mistakes in 2020. This potentially means Engram will remain in East Rutherford next season for what would be the final year of his rookie contract.
Finally thing from Joe Judge. He views TE Evan Engram as a key piece to the offense. "I love Evan. Have a ton of confidence in Evan." The plan appears to be to roll forward with him as focal point. #Giants #NFL
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) March 9, 2021
Now if the organization wishes to move in the right direction, this may not be the most productive of moves. Engram did make the Pro Bowl last season but his struggles proved to be a huge detriment to the offensive unit — he dropped 11 balls for a 10.1% drop rate and was targeted on six of the Giants’ 11 total interceptions.
He hasn’t shown he’s capable of living up to his potential as a former first-round pick.
The Giants could trade him prior to April’s NFL Draft and acquire draft capital to go along with the six picks they already own. They may then potentially draft Florida tight end Kyle Pitts if he’s available at No. 11 overall or sign Engram’s replacement in free agency — Hunter Henry of the Chargers and Jonnu Smith of the Titans are both set to be available.
Engram is still young and could live up to the aforementioned potential if provided with a fresh start, so there will likely be a market for him even with just one year remaining on his contract.
Heading into 2021, the Giants must make it a legitimate priority to build around Daniel Jones, who needs to undergo an efficient development next season. Keeping Engram and the issues that may come with his game might not be a beneficial move in regard to that hopeful development.
There are alternatives at the tight end position that would likely be superior options in comparison to Engram. If the Giants don’t take advantage of any of them and instead continue with the 26-year-old, it will be one of the more puzzling moves of the entire offseason.