TEs TJ Hockenson & Noah Fant
While Evan Engram was still just two season’s deep into his Giants’ tenure, he was a holdover from the previous regime. His rookie season continues to be his most prolific, despite being selected to this year’s Pro Bowl.
T.J. Hockenson — selected with the eighth overall pick in 2019 — was also selected to this year’s Pro Bowl, as the starter ahead of Engram.
Hockenson is having a stronger year than Engram, but the only metric he stands far ahead of Engram is touchdowns. Hockenson has six while Engram has one.
Noah Fant — selected with the 20th overall pick in 2019 — is also having a great year. And if two of the best tight ends in the league weren’t in his conference, he’d make a worthy Pro Bowl selection as well.
Fant is also ahead of Engram in touchdowns, with three, but otherwise is third of the bunch in receptions and yards. But Fant, who is just three receptions and 12 yards behind Engram, has played in one fewer game this season.
When we look at the the numbers since these tight ends were drafted, any could arguably be the strongest of the bunch. Fant has played in the most games (30) and he has the most yards (1187). Hockenson has the most touchdowns (8). And Engram has the most receptions (105).
This is not meant to say that Gettleman should have selected a replacement for Engram. But what harm could there be having two prolific tight ends as opposed to one?
Hockenson is the only player within this post who was taken before Dexter Lawrence. So let’s say the Giants selected Hockenson at number six and missed out on Jones. They would now have two very able tight ends for Manning, who was not inclined to throw deep downfield anyway.
Or let’s say they drafted Jones at six, and used one of their other picks for Fant. They would now give their rookie quarterback two strong tight ends as weapons, something he shows he desperately needs.
Or at the very least, the 6’-5” 247 lb Hockenson or the 6’-4” 249 lb Fant, could have been an additional blocker for some help on the Giants’ porous offensive line, something Engram struggles to be.
But we’ll never know how good the Giants’ offense could be had they drafted one of the leagues two most promising tight ends. It certainly couldn’t be worse than it is without them.