First-round pick Evan Engram is expected to make an impact for the New York Giants this year. The good news for the tight end is that offseason workouts have seen things slow down for him to the point now that he’s not thinking.
Wait, that’s not as bad as it sounds.
Engram wrapped up Organized Team Activities (OTAs) with the Giants, his first series of offseason workouts in the NFL. The first few days his head was spinning, the rookie says, as he adjusted to the new language of this offense and the complexity of the playbook.
But now with minicamp here, he says he has progressed and taken the next step in his development. There is a growing understanding that he takes into the three days of minicamp as he comprehends the complexities and intricacies of the offense.
He goes into minicamp a different player.
“Definitely with confidence. Those first couple of days, the installs and everything, I was learning but I wasn't really confident. I was thinking a lot, I was second guessing myself,” Engram said.
“But really digging in in the film room, correcting my mistakes and not letting those same mistakes happen again. That really boosts my confidence. So, when I know what I'm doing and I could play fast, that's the biggest leap I've taken during these OTAs.”
That’s not to say that everything is perfect.
The knock on Engram coming out of Ole Miss wasn’t his pass catching ability where the tight end showed a rare ability as a playmaker and someone who can stretch defenses. It was his blocking.
Engram will never be confused with being a short yardage blocker, it’s just not within his skillset. He’s a receiving tight end, first and foremost, having left Ole Miss as the program’s all-time leading receiver at his position.
But he said he is willing to block and wants to continue to improve at it to round out his game.
“When there is a guy probably 30-40 pounds bigger than me on the other side, definitely mentality wise, but mentally with schemes and reading stuff, it wasn't as complex in college,” Engram said. “It was kind of, ‘go block that man’, on that level. But here the defense moves around so much, there are different fronts you have to read. Just a lot more mental toughness and mental sharpness that goes into the run game here. Definitely a little more complex at this level.”