For a second straight year, the New York Giants ignored a glaring need at offensive tackle to select a player who wasn’t in an area of need in the first round. Big Blue used the No. 23 pick in the first round of Thursday night’s NFL draft on Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram.
With a desperate need at offensive tackle and several highly rated players at the position on the draft board, the Giants instead drafted a tight end. Talented and productive at Ole Miss, Engram adds another weapon to an offense that already includes wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall as targets for quarterback Eli Manning.
It is a bit of a headscratcher from general manager Jerry Reese although Engram has a high ceiling in the NFL.
At the NFL combine, Engram ran a head-turning 4.42 time in the 40-yard-dash, a 6.92-second three-cone drill and a 36-inch vertical. He’s not a great blocker or a huge target, but he had a productive career at Ole Miss and was an All-SEC selection twice.
With Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson, Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk and Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp still on the board, the Giants easily could have found a starting tackle with the pick. Instead, they ignored a glaring need and perhaps drafted a luxury.
At Ole Miss, Engram finished with 162 receptions, 2,320 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, all tops in program history for a tight end.