Breakout in 2018: Evan Engram
As has been mentioned before the Giants 2017 campaign was an utter disappointment if not a total failure. There were very few bright spots among the injuries, suspension, and on the field losses for Big Blue in 2017. One of the few bright spots in 2017 was the play of rookie tight-end Evan Engram. In his debut season Engram lead the Giants in receptions and receiving touchdowns and most of this occurred while being the targeted threat by the opposition.
While Engram had a solid 2017 he could have an even better 2018 and there are three reasons for Engram to make the jump. The first reason which Engram had in 2017 was the measurables. While a tight-end standing 6-3 weighing 234 lbs is not unheard of combining the 40 speed of 4.42 seconds can cause severe mismatches in the secondary.
The second reason why Engram will have a breakout season in 2018 have been improvements on the G-Mens offensive line. The signing of Nate Solder and drafting of Will Hernandez should improve the Giants pass protection and run game. The improvement in pass protection will allow for Big Blue receivers to run longer routes and have a better chance to make big plays. The improved running game will benefit Engram in two ways. First, linebackers will have to decide to commit to the run or guard Engram which is a situation the Giants can exploit via the speedy TE. Second, the Giants can start using the play action pass which Eli Manning has used quite successfully in previous Super Bowl runs.
The third reason is that the Giants could have a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018. OBJ missed the majority of 2017 with an ankle injury meaning defenses did not have to worry about the dynamic wide receiver. With a healthy Beckham Jr. in 2018 means, Beckham Jr. will be doubled team and that should leave Engram in single coverage. With the already mentioned measurables with Engram’s height and speed, Engram should overpower cornerbacks and outrun linebackers.