2017 NFL Draft
Prospect: Evan Engram
Prospect: Evan Engram
School: Ole Miss
Ht: 6'-3" Wt: 235
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In this era of football, "tweeners" and "gadget players" are shaping offenses more than ever. Slot receivers, H-backs, and change-of-pace running backs are taking prominent roles, and that is where Engram fits. He has a skill set that is more reminiscent of a receiver, but his size is closer to a tight end. Still, he has been a huge presence in that Ole Miss offense, and as a senior, he is the focal point of that unit. Not every offense in the NFL makes the most of a player like this, but for those that do, they will value him high in next April's draft.
Engram's best trait is his ability to create mismatches. There aren't many linebackers that can carry him down or across the field, yet there aren't many defensive backs that can handle his size. Where he has improved the most as a senior is in the latter matchups with his route running. Early in his career, he was only involved in a simpler route-tree. He'd run down the hash marks, across on drag routes, or into the flats. While those routes are essential for a player like him, they don't take much skill. Any player with a combination of size and athleticism can be effective on those routes. Where he has evolved is his ability to run the timing routes that involve him separating, and positioning himself to take advantage of his size. He keeps his head over his toes when breaking down, and comes out of his cuts quickly for a bigger player. This has allowed him to run some of those curl routes that make him a monster on third down. A lot of times those passes are thrown in traffic, and before the player has his head around. They aren't easy to execute, but Engram has been targeted on them a number of times thus far as a senior. The next step will involve Engram using some double-moves that don't just get him separation, but wide open.
As a blocker, he is much less polished. On the perimeter, he has much more success against defensive backs. He gets his hands on them and drives them with ease. Inside, he is not nearly as dominant. He doesn't control linebackers as easy, and I haven't seen him have a ton of success as a trap or counter blocker against defensive linemen. Although he could improve his lower body strength, I feel he has the size to succeed in these areas. He has to be more violent at the point of attack and that comes with converting speed to power, similar to pass rusher. You have to explode towards your target and transfer that speed into a solid strike that jolts the defender off-balance. From there, your leg drive has to finish the player off. The added strength in his lower body will help there. Also, his punch is much better against smaller players. He has to employ that against bigger players because even though it won't be as effective, I believe it will be a sufficient part of the process that gets the job done. What won't work is just throwing a shoulder into them which he has a tendency to do. He also has little experience as a lead blocker.
Has a reputation of being a good teammate and character away from the field. A hard worker, I don't have much any worries that he can add some bulk to his frame. Is also trustworthy in the crucial situations like the third downs and the red zone. He isn't going to be a true inline tight end, but for teams that like to play in two-tight end sets, he is the kind of guy that can play all over the formation.
Overall, Jackson is one of the most physically gifted corners we have seen in college football in a long time. Since arriving at USC he has wowed those watching him with his abilities, and that has scouts drooling. The instincts are still developing, but if he can focus on the defensive side of the ball as a junior, he could be one of the top defenders drafted in 2017, should he choose to declare. As a person, he was voted a captain as a junior and appears to be a very mature individual off the field. Look for his stock to continue to rise as his mental capacity for the game gets better.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins) or Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans)
- Great combination of size and speed
- Terrific ball skills
- Can line up in multiple places
- Improving route-runner
- Isn't fazed by contact or playing in traffic
- Unpolished blocker in the box
- Doesn't have much experience at fullback
- Not a good fit as an inline tight end
1)   Ole Miss might be struggling, but star TE Evan Engram is not   - CBSSports.com |
2)   Ole Miss head coach thinks blue chip TE Evan Engram should play for the Patriots   - PatsPulpit.com |
3)   Kirk Herbstreit says Ole Miss' Evan Engram is 'the best tight end in the country'   - SECCountry.com |
4)   Evan Engram Twitter|
5)   Evan Engram Instagram|