Giants Tight End Evan Engram looks to build off his rookie season in year two.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –Apparently, the only person connected with the Giants who wasn't impressed with Evan Engram's rookie season was Evan Engram.
"Last year I was kind of a deer in headlights and was just out there running around," Engram said today. "I was able to do some good things and (I) have some things to work on."
Engram, the Giants' first-round draft choice last year, was pretty productive for a guy just running around. In 15 games – he missed the season finale with a rib injury – he finished the season with team-high totals of 64 catches and six touchdowns, and his 722 receiving yards were just nine less than Sterling Shepard's team-high 731. Engram, who was selected to the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie team, was the first rookie tight end to lead the Giants in receptions. His six touchdown catches were a franchise record for a rookie tight end, surpassing Bob Tucker's previous mark of five, set in 1970.
Now he hopes to build on his accomplishments under new coach Pat Shurmur.
"It's just a new year, new opportunity," Engram said as the Giants concluded their three-day voluntary minicamp. "…This year the game is starting to slow down. I'm just able to work on small things and be more of an all-around player – blocking and receiving and even leadership."
Engram believes the Giants' new offensive scheme gives him an opportunity to make a greater impact than he did a year ago.
"I'm really excited about it," he said. "Just the different things that we can do against defenses. With the talent we have and just the success that Coach Shurmur has had with the system, I am very excited about it. From what we put together these last three days, even just from starting to get into it I think it could be really good for us."
The first round of the NFL Draft is tonight. It was just a year ago that he heard his name called at No. 23 overall, so he has an idea about the emotions the new group of high-profile players will have tonight.
"It's honestly pretty weird, he said. "Just how kind of scary how fast time flies. It's kind of weird being on the opposite end and actually being a part of a team and kind of being able to sit back and wait, and watch who's going to join us and who's going to go on this journey with us. So it's pretty cool, it's pretty cool from a different perspective."
Engram was able to impart some of his draft-night wisdom to one of this year's most highly-rated players, North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb, a former teammate of his at Hillgrove High School in Powder Spring, Ga.
"We're pretty close," Engram said. "He came to me for advice on coming back for his senior year a year ago. He was kind of in a bind there, and asked me some things I've went through. I've just always been keeping up with him through the season and definitely been kind of a mentor through this draft process. He's killed it, he's done really well, and I've just been keeping up with him. I texted him this morning, wished him good luck and I told him to enjoy today."
Just as Engram did when he was on the field with his teammates.
*Perhaps the No. 1 question coming out of the minicamp was how second-year quarterback Davis Webb performed. Shurmur answered it before it could be asked.
"I'll lead off by saying anyone that has the Davis Webb question, think of another one," Shurmur said. "I think he did a much better job the second and third day. He showed up today and he is following Eli (Manning's) lead. I thought he was executing well. I thought today the defense did a good job of challenging and I think we got a lot better.
"This was a really good three days. I think our team got better. Now we can slide back into that phase where we meet and can go on the field against air (as opposed to offense vs. defense). We can fine tune some of the techniques and fundamentals that we worked on in this camp and really get ready for the OTA's. Have not been involved with this type of minicamp this early in the season of late, but I can tell where this is going to be really, really valuable for the guys. That puts the cap on this week's work with the players. We will quickly change gears and get ready for the draft."
*Odell Beckham, Jr., still rehabbing his surgically-repaired ankle, did some individual work.
"It's terrific," Shurmur said. "We all know what a great player he is. He is making progress to getting fully cleared. You can see he looks lively and is involved. He is taking all the mental reps that he can. It is great. It is great to see all of our players out there and all of them healthy as we get ready for September."