The New York Giants used their first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on tight end Evan Engram of Mississippi Rebels. The last time the Giants used their first pick on a tight end was in 2002, when the Giants selected Jeremy Shockey of Miami (Fl) Hurricanes with the 14th overall pick.
Shockey played six seasons with the Giants, earning pro bowl invitations in four of them. Shockey thrived immediately in the NFL, totaling almost 900 yards on 74 catches. Because of the production on the field during his first year, Shockey was honored with the inaugural Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award. In 2005, the Giants extended Shockey’s contract and made him the highest paid tight end in the NFL.
Shockey was known for his aggressiveness on and off the field. In 2007, Shockey suffered a season-ending injury to his ankle. That season the Giants went on to beat the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Shockey did not participate in many of the teams’ celebrations. Shockey also sparked controversy after making homophobic comments on Howard Stern’s show. He was traded to the New Orleans Saints in 2008.
This years’ draft marks the first time New York has selected a tight end since Shockey. The Giants hope Evan Engram can produce similar statistics as Shockey, but without all the antics.
The 6’3, 234 pound end is known for his speed and athletic ability. At the combine, Engram was a top performer in the 40-yard dash with 4.42 seconds and the vertical jump with 36 inches. In four seasons with Ole Miss, Engram collected 2,320 yards on 162 catches and 15 touchdowns, earning him First Team All-American and two First-team All-SEC honors.
The Giants seemed to make the right call with Engram. Many of the top offensive linemen were taken before New York had a chance with them, so the Giants chose to fill their next biggest hole: tight end. Eli Manning has multiple star receivers to throw to, including the addition of Brandon Marshall this offseason. Engram adds to the receiving corps; however, his athleticism allows him to line-up against defenders and block effectively.