Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants Take TE Engram of Ole Miss

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants Take TE Engram of Ole Miss

Article excerpt

It has been 15 years since the Giants took a tight end in the first round of the NFL draft.

That streak is over.

The Giants went to Eli Manning's alma mater and came away with a bit of a surprise when they selected tight end Evan Engram with the 23rd overall pick Thursday night.

At 6-foot-3, 234 pounds, Engram was the fastest tight end at the NFL combine, running a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash. It was the third-best time by a tight end at the combine since 2006. With that speed and size, Engram can present matchup problems that NFL teams covet.

By bringing in Engram – the first at the position in the first round for Big Blue since Jeremy Shockey in 2002 – the Giants added to an offense that already featured Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard as receiving weapons for Manning.

Manning texted Engram, 22, shortly after the Giants placed the phone call to the latter's home in Georgia, offering congratulations with the advice to "enjoy the moment."

"I knew I deserved to be [a first-round pick], I knew I should be," Engram said in a conference call Thursday night. "Just what I bring to the table, my game is so dynamic, I'm so confident in myself. I hope I'm not sounding cocky or anything because that's 100 percent not it. I'm just really confident in what I can bring to a team and I definitely believe that I should've gotten a call in the first round, and somebody was getting one of the best players in the draft, one of the best dynamic players in this draft.

"I knew for a fact that I should be [selected in the first] and I was just praying that I was. ... I knew it was gonna happen, I knew it should happen and I'm blessed that it did."

Engram is the all-time Ole Miss leader in receptions (162), receiving yards (2,320) and TD catches (15) by a tight end.

"The fastest way to the end zone is up the middle of the field," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said.

General manager Jerry Reese and Co. entered the NFL Draft, which began with the first round Thursday night, having brought back all but one starter on defense with free agent additions of Marshall, tight end Rhett Ellison and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker among those expected to strengthen positions of weakness on the offensive side of the ball. …

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