Jaguars target Evan Engram replacement in CBS Sports latest mock draft

Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The most pressing item on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top-do list in the offseason is re-signing tight end Evan Engram, who is slated to become a free agent. Both parties seem to be interested in getting a deal done but if Engram ends up walking, the team’s brass might need to turn to the draft to find a potential replacement. Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports thinks Utah’s Dalton Kincaid could be that guy.

Wilson has the Jags taking Kincaid with the 25th overall pick in his latest NFL Mock Draft and argues that the former Utah Ute could be the perfect fit in head coach Doug Pederson’s system.

"Kincaid could end up being one of the best rookie offensive weapons in 2023, especially if Doug Pederson uses him like the Jags used Evan Engram in ’22. Engram and two other Jacksonville TEs are currently free agents thought the team could certainly decide to re-up the former Giants first-rounder who is coming off a career year. Even still, Kincaid would only make Trevor Lawrence’s life easier in ’23."

Wilson brings up a very important point. Engram isn’t the only Jaguars tight end who is slated to hit the open market. Both Chris Manhertz and Dan Arnold are also set to become free agents, so they might need to add another tight end even if they bring back Engram. Having said that, the only way the Jags draft a tight end in the first round is if Engram leaves in free agency.

Past mocks had Jacksonville taking Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer in the first round and he might be still a viable option but if he isn’t available when the Jaguars are on the clock, Kincaid then becomes a solid alternative.

Kincaid isn’t an outstanding blocker but he’s a terrific pass catcher, hauling in 70 catches for 890 yards with eight touchdowns in 2022. The Las Vegas native is the 36th overall prospect on Pro Football Focus’ big board and you will often see him pop up near the top of most tight-end rankings, often behind Mayer.

Dalton Kincaid would be a solid pick for the Jaguars in the 2023 NFL Draft

Cornerback has become a trendy pick for the Jags in mock drafts but if Engram changes teams, tight end might be a bigger priority. And if that’s the case, they will likely turn to the draft as they won’t have the cap space to go after someone like Mike Gesicki or Dalton Schultz in free agency.

Then again, it looks like the Jaguars’ brass will try to lock up Engram. Doug Pederson told the tight end Monday morning how much he appreciates him and adds that he knows how the team feels about him.

“What he did this year, I saw the kind of joy in his eyes, talking to him this morning”, Pederson told the local media. “He’s a big part of our success, so we hope to possibly get him back here. We’d love to have him back. He knows how we feel. We know how we feel and hopefully, it gets worked out”.

Similarly, Engram told the local media after the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that he wants to return to Jacksonville after having the best year of his life and so much fun of fun”.

The reality is that teams can’t retain all their free agents due to salary cap rules but if Engram leaves, the Jaguars will have options, including Dalton Kincaid.

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