2. TE Kaden Smith
One of the few bright spots on offense this year was the late-season emergence of rookie tight end Kaden Smith.
After just tallying 6 receptions for 18 yards through the first 12 weeks, the injuries to both Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison gave Smith a prime opportunity to make a name for himself, which is exactly what he did.
Over the final five weeks of the season, Smith recorded 25 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score vs Washington in week 16.
The arrival of Smith was refreshing to see after the inconsistencies at the position during the last few years. Despite the elite talent of Evan Engram, his constant injuries coupled with his below-par (albeit improved) run blocking game has kept him from producing at the level he is capable of.
When Rhett Ellison was brought in from Minnesota, many saw his improved run-blocking abilities to be the perfect compliment to Engram’s game.
While this has been true for the most part, with Ellison also having solid production in the passing game (67 catches, 674 yards, 4 TDs in 3 years), all signs point to Joe Judge and the NY Giants parting ways with the 31-year old this off-season to free up roughly $5 million in cap space.
The NY Giants aren’t moving on from Engram, as his upside is still that of one of the better tight ends in all of football. However, it never hurts to have two great tight ends, especially one that can block and improve the run game like Smith did late last year.
The development of Kaden Smith this off-season and him taking on a bigger role in 2020 will provide second-year quarterback Daniel Jones with yet another weapon to get the ball to – and I’m fully on board with that.