joe judge evan engram giants
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Joe Judge had nothing but great things to say about Giants tight end Evan Engram during his Friday morning press conference.

Evan Engram‘s playstyle and on-field ability come with a great deal of upside, that’s for sure.

The noteworthy potential is present — his athleticism, speed, and versatility provide him with the opportunity to be one of the more talented tight ends this league possesses. He’s essentially another receiver and has been since he entered the NFL as a 2017 first-rounder.

The downside, however, looms large. The drops, missed blocks, and overall on-field mistakes cause Giants fans to lose confidence in a guy they once believed would be an integral component of this offensive unit for years to come.

The Giants have had opportunities to trade Engram. The fact they’ve decided to keep him says a whole lot about what the organization thinks of him, so when asked about the young tight end, it was expected Joe Judge would portray nothing but praise.

“Confidence comes from practice and execution, and when you watch us practice and you watch No. 88 on the field, no one empties the tank like this guy,” the second-year head coach told the media in a Friday morning press conference. “This guy goes hard every day, we have to tell him to tone it down…Evan’s always a guy that makes you say ‘hey Evan, tone it down a little bit.’

“This guy works on the details, he takes coaching very well, he’s mentally tough, he’s a physically tough dude, he takes care of his body. And I think the dependability factor for teammates is when they know you’re working your hardest every day and doing everything you can to help the team, then you know you’ve put everything into it, and when something falls short on the field for any player, they can trust the guys putting in the work and preparation. At that point, we have to help the guy improve, but I’m very pleased with the way he works, he’s a fun guy to have in the program, he’s great in the locker room, he’s a leader on our team, he’s a very productive player for us — I enjoy coaching him every single day.”

One of the main issues involving Engram, however, may be the misuse of him by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett — something that could be out of Evan’s direct control.

Garrett came over and joined the Giants in 2020 after spending the better part of a decade with tight end Jason Witten and he must realize Engram is a different type of player than the Cowboys legend.

The OC needs to be creative with Evan — line him up in the slot or maybe out wide. You cannot utilize a 6-foot-3, 240-pound Engram like you would a 6-foot-6, 265-pound Witten in his 30s. Engram employs a different playstyle than Witten did; Garrett must adapt to that.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.