Jaguars TE Evan Engram named guaranteed riser for 2022 NFL season

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Evan Engram in free agency to give their tight end room a boost. While the position could still use some help, Pro Football Hall-of-Fame voter Adam Schein believes Engram is set to thrive with the Jags.

Schein recently put together a list of players he sees as guaranteed risers in 2022 and the former first-round pick made the cut.  Schein acknowledges that Engram underperformed during his five-year stint with the New York Giants but thinks that a change of scenery will benefit him greatly.

"Many Giants fans call the former first-round pick a bust. Fair enough. While Engram did make a Pro Bowl, big drops and inconsistency plagued the speedy tight end throughout his five-year tenure with Big Blue. But I think this has all the makings of a classic change-of-scenery breakout, with Engram moving from the cauldron of New York City down to Duval County. In Jacksonville, Engram gets to play with Trevor Lawrence and for Doug Pederson — that’s a win for all parties involved."

Later in his analysis, Schein argues that tight ends take time to develop in the pros and projects Engram to “realize his potential in his new locale”.  And so far, reviews of the tight end’s performance have been positive. Trevor Lawrence has praised him and believes the tight end will add an explosive element to the offense this upcoming season.

The Jaguars are counting on Evan Engram to make an impact

Engram was the best tight end available in free agency with Dalton Schultz (Dallas Cowboys), Zach Ertz (Arizona Cardinals), Mike Gesicki (Miami Dolphins), and David Njoku (Cleveland Browns) returning to their respective teams. Still, the Jaguars liked Engram enough that they gave him a one-year deal worth $9 million, and looking at his production these past five years it’s easy to see why.

The drops are there, and Engram must get that under control. He’s coming off a season in which he had four. However, he logged 25 in from  2017 to 2020. Last year was a step in the right direction but he needs to show it was the start of a trend and not an outlier. On the other hand, he hasn’t been nearly as bad as he might be portrayed. He’s averaged 52 receptions per season and hauled in 63 as recently as 2020.

Engram needs to add more in the red zone though. He scored six touchdowns in his rookie campaign but only 10 since then. That number must go up, especially when you take into account that Jacksonville got two touchdowns from their whole tight end group in 2021. He’s got the size to be a big target on offense and the Jaguars’ coaching staff must find a way to incorporate him in that kind of situation.

Engram has the tools to succeed and has previously shown flashes. He will have a chance to put it all together in Jacksonville. If Schein is correct about him and Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville’s offense should improve a lot in 2022.

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