The Jacksonville Jaguars need to make upgrades to their offense this offseason. Although wide receiver and the offensive line are at the top of their to-do list, they can’t neglect their tight end unit. Fortunately, they will have plenty of choices to address the position in free agency and the draft but some are better than others and Evan Engram should be at the bottom of their wish list.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently drew up a list of players NFL teams should avoid in 2022’s free agency and Engram’s name came up. Knox points out that this is a good year to target a tight end but says that team should be wary of the New York Giants tight end because of his lack of consistency over the last five years. He acknowledges that Engram was a Pro Bowl nod in 2020 and has 262 receptions with 16 touchdowns since being drafted 23 overall by Big Blue in 2017. Nevertheless, he’s struggled with drops throughout his career and has a subpar catch rate.
"Engram has caught just 61.1 percent of the passes thrown his way. He’s had 17 drops over the past two years, while eight of his targets were intercepted over that span. In 2021, Engram helped provide a passer rating of only 80.2 when targeted. He was even less effective in his Pro Bowl season, providing a rating of 55.4."
Knox notes that Engram hasn’t enjoyed a stable quarterback play in New York but he doesn’t believe that the tight end would suddenly be a star in another team. His bottom line isn’t particularly thrilling, “Engram is a boom-or-bust pass-catching tight end who busts too often to be a top free-agent target”.
The Jaguars will have better options at tight end in 2022’s free agency.
The Jaguars will have close to $69 million in cap space to spend in free agency, according to Over The Cap. That’s more than enough to pursue tight ends Dalton Schultz or Mike Gesicki. Even if they don’t want to invest heavily in the position, they will have cost-effective options such as Maxx Williams. Simply, there will be many better alternatives to Engram this offseason.
Having said that, the Jaguars could pursue Engram as a reclamation project. They could offer him a bargain deal and see if he can enjoy a career revival in Jacksonville. As long as they don’t envision him becoming an All-Pro and have realistic expectations, the former first-round pick could be a low-key solid addition in free agency.
The Jaguars need to get Trevor Lawrence as many weapons as possible this year. Despite the fact that there wil be better tight ends available than Engram in free agency, they can’t rule out signing him, especially if they want to prioritize other position groups.