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Giants Now (7/8): PFF sees big role for Evan Engram

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Pro Football Focus sees large role for Evan Engram in 2020

Evan Engram enjoyed a strong start to the 2019 season.

The tight end began his third year in the NFL by catching 11 of 14 targets for 116 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against the Cowboys. Two weeks later, he caught six passes for 113 yards and Daniel Jones' first career passing touchdown, a 75-yard catch-and-run to the house, against the Buccaneers.

A foot injury derailed the second half of the season for Engram, forcing him to miss the final eight games. The 25-year-old finished the year with 44 receptions for 467 yards and three touchdowns in eight games (six starts).

When he is on the field, Engram is one of the top tight ends in the league. In 15 games as a rookie, he caught 64 passes for 722 yards and six touchdowns, earning a selection to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie Team.

Pro Football Focus took a look at all of the NFL's tight ends to see which ones could be facing a high-volume target share in 2020. When it came to Engram, PFF called him "one of the league's most-talented TEs."

As PFF notes, "only Kelce (77), Kittle (65), Gronkowski (65), Ertz (64) and Waller (61) have averaged more receiving yards per game than Engram (52) among all TEs since 2017. His average of 7.7 targets per game with Daniel Jones under center in 2019 and was just below Golden Tate (8.4) and Sterling Shepard (8.3) Note that backup TE Kaden Smith assumed a similarly productive role when Engram missed time last season."

The analytics site added "there aren't five better players at the position when he's right."

Photos of Giants tight end Evan Engram.

Several Giants make CBS Sports' top players to wear each jersey number

CBS Sports decided to open up the history books to decide the best player to wear each jersey number in NFL history.

Several Giants found their way onto the list, including some all-time franchise greats.

No. 56 LB Lawrence Taylor- "Taylor has two Super Bowl championship rings in his trophy case. He went to 10 Pro Bowls and was named a 10-time All-Pro. The 1986 NFL MVP was the former No. 2 overall selection in the 1981 NFL Draft. The Giants viewed the linebacker position as a luxury when they selected Taylor. It was a gamble that rewarded them with a Hall of Fame career. He recorded 1,089 tackles, 132.5 sacks, 56 forced fumbles and nine interceptions."

No. 98 LB Jessie Armstead- "Former Steelers defensive tackle Casey Hampton and Armstead were on pretty equal footing here. Armstead went to five Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro. Neither player has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but both have been recognized individually by their respective organizations. Armstead recorded 967 tackles, 40 sacks and 12 interceptions during his career."

QB Fran Tarkenton, who spent five seasons with the Giants in between two long stints with the Vikings, narrowly beat out Eli Manning as the top player to don the No. 10.

RB Larry Csonka was selected as the best player to wear the No. 39. The running back spent three seasons with the Giants towards the end of his 11-year NFL career.

Golden Tate has proven to be hard to tackle

Golden Tate had a productive first season with the Giants last year.

The veteran wide receiver played in 11 games with 10 starts and finished the season with 49 receptions for 676 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned 10 punts for 97 yards, good for an average of 9.7 yards per return.

Tate has enjoyed a strong 10-year career in the NFL. From 2014-2017, the Tennessee native caught a total of 372 passes, finishing with at least 90 receptions in each campaign and at least 1,000 receiving yards in three of the four.

Over his career, the former second round pick has reeled in 660 passes for 7,890 yards and 44 touchdowns. While he is known for his reliable hands, Tate has proven to be quite difficult to take down once he has control of the ball.

From 2012-2018, Tate ranked in the top three among all wide receivers in avoided tackles each season. On top of that, he finished the season ranked first overall in five different seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

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