Every NFL player is different and some need more time than others to develop coming out of college. That could be the case of Jacksonville Jaguars’ tight end Evan Engram, who has posted solid numbers throughout his career but hasn’t had a true breakout season. In his favor, his best years might be ahead of him.
Andrew Cooper of Fantasy Alarm recently dug a pretty interesting tidbit. He noted on social media that Engram is “the same age, right now” (27), that Travis Kelce was “when he logged his first 1,000-yard season.
Kelce is arguably the best tight end in the NFL right now and is sixth in receiving yards by tight ends on the All-Time list with 9,286. He earned three First-Team All-Pro designations and made the Pro Bowl seven times since the Kansas City Chiefs made him a third-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Here’s the amusing part. Kelce missed his rookie year with a knee injury and only really hit his stride until his fourth NFL campaign, when he caught 85 receptions for 1,115 yards with four touchdowns. He’s gone on to post six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and he could surpass Shannon Sharpe and Antonio Gates on the All-Time list in the next couple of years even if he can’t keep up his monster pace.
The Jaguars are counting on Evan Engram to give their offense a boost
Evan Engram might not be the next Travis Kelce but he doesn’t have to be in order to help the Jaguars improve in 2022. For that to happen, he needs to cut down on drops and become a reliable target in the passing game.
Over the last five seasons, Engram has averaged 52.4 receptions per year and has had more than 64 twice. Totaling 60 catches would be a realistic goal for the former Ole Miss rebel in 2021 but he must also get more involved in the red zone. He reached the endzone six times as a rookie but has scored just 10 touchdowns over the last four years. Working in his favor is that Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson relies heavily on their tight ends.
Having said that, totaling 1,000 receiving yards in 2022 might not be a feasible goal for Engram even if plays his best football. The Jaguars bolster their wide receiver corps in the offseason and they will likely spread the ball around. The tight end will certainly see an uptick in his numbers but not enough to reach the 1,000-yard milestone.
Evan Engram’s career path may or may not resemble Travis Kelce but if he ends up having a breakout season in 2022, the Jaguars won’t probably mind extending their professional relationship beyond this year.