3. The Missing Piece
One of the worst kept secrets in the NFL is that Eli Manning loves to throw to his tight ends. In recent seasons, that’s resulted in Manning featuring mediocre players in his offensive progressions.
In 2017, that proclivity could finally pay off.
With the 23rd overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants took a player who could transform Manning’s game: fellow Ole Miss alum Evan Engram.
Engram led all FBS tight ends in yards per reception during the 2014 season, and he never slowed down. This past season, he led the Ole Miss Rebels in three major categories with 65 receptions for 926 yards and eight touchdowns.
Engram caught a touchdown pass in eight different games in 2016—and that doesn’t include the passes he’s already caught from Eli Manning.
He can expect to catch a couple more in 2017.
For perspective, Manning targeted his tight ends 113 times in 2016, with Will Tye receiving a leading 70 targets. Tye recorded 48 receptions, but only managed to score one touchdown, and amassed an average of just 8.2 yards per reception.
By adding a playmaker like Engram to the offense, Manning will finally have a tight end who can create separation, win jump balls, and turn something into nothing.