NY Giants tight end Evan Engram has been a non-factor through the first five weeks of the 2020 NFL season
This wasn’t how the NY Giants drew it up.
When Jason Garrett was hired as offensive coordinator, it was easy to get carried away with high expectations for Giants tight end Evan Engram. After all, Garrett’s system largely funneled the passing game through the tight end position and helped turn Jason Witten into a future Hall of Famer.
As the 2020 NFL trade deadline approaches, a current GM thinks the Giants have several players who could be attractive targets, including Evan Engram.
Many believed this would be the year Engram, 26, took the next step and his athleticism translated into him blossoming into one of the NFL’s premier pass catching tight ends.
That certainly hasn’t happened.
Through the first five games of the season, Engram has caught just 18 of 32 targets for 147 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per reception and 4.6 yards per target. He still hasn’t caught a touchdown pass.
In the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Garrett and the Giants resorted to handing the ball off to Engram to try to get him going, resulting in a touchdown run.
Engram said Monday that the biggest difference in this scheme is the amount of curls he’s being asked to run, rather than just operating in the seam.
“We work a lot of different things,” Engram said. “Trying to get the ball going and try to get the passing game going. [I’m pretty much just kind of doing what I”m asked to do in the offense.”
One scout, when asked by GMenHQ why the Giants haven’t been able to get Engram going offered a sobering assessment.
“What exactly is he good at?” the scout asked.
Pro Football Focus seems to agree with the scout, giving Engram just a 51 overall grade, and a 55 receiving grade, while pointing out that Daniel Jones’ passer rating is just 30.6 when targeting Engram.
At this rate, Engram — who has yet to play a full 16 game season — is on pace for just 58 catches for 470 yards, just slightly better than his career-low 44 catches for 467 yards in eight games last season.
In addition to his lack of production, Engram is once again part of a losing team as the Giants limp into Sunday’s contest with the Washington Football Team at 0-5.
That isn’t sitting well in the locker room.
“Definitely disappointed,” Engram said. “Definitely pissed off. We fought our butts off yesterday and didn’t come up on the winning end. Yeah, we’re pissed off and hungry.”
Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.