A three-star recruit, Engram joined Ole Miss after being considered
just outside the top 20 high school tight ends in his class. It
didn't take long for him to prove he was a bit better than that,
however, as he joined Laremy Tunsil as the only two true freshmen
in school history to be named to an All-SEC team in 2013. Engram
managed to do this despite missing the final five regular-season
games due to a high-ankle sprain. He paced all SEC tight ends with
a then-school record (for a tight end) 662 receiving yards and was
second with 38 catches as a sophomore in 2014 while ranking first
in the country among tight ends with 17.4 yards per catch, allowing
him to land on multiple All-American teams. Engram matched his catch
and touchdown (two) total from the previous year in 2015, but his
YPC dropped more than five yards while Laquon Treadwell became the
focal point of the Ole Miss passing game. Engram stepped up as a
senior in 2016 following Treadwell's departure and secured multiple
All-America honors while also winning the Ozzie Newsome Award as
nation’s best tight end. He set a number of single-season
school marks for a tight end, tallying 65 catches, 926 receiving
yards and tying another for TD catches (eight). Engram finished
his career as the program's all-time leader in receptions (162),
receiving yards (2,320) and touchdowns (15) for a tight end.
NFL Player Comp(s):Jordan Reed Low-end NFL Player Comp(s):
Best Scheme Fit: Engram is
more oversized wide receiver at this point than undersized tight
end, so any offense that allows him to work in space or in the
slot opposite a linebacker should be to his benefit. Note: All times listed in parentheses
in strengths/weaknesses section reflect the start time on video
- via Draft Breakdown - that displays that skill/trait.
Shows the ability to sell the fake on a double-move (0:54,
and is quick to create separation on almost any non-linear route.
Two-time captain; performed well against quality competition
in 2016 (18 combined catches for 259 yards and two touchdowns
against Florida State and Alabama).
Lets too many passes into his body and drops too many balls
that hit his hands (0:57,
allows the ball will beat him up at times.
Although he received plenty of reps as an H-back, he doesn't
possess the size/strength to anchor or use sound technique as
a blocker (0:01,
Despite his occasional willingness to run through a defender,
the first tackler brings him down too often for a player of
Seems to lack the understanding of the importance of positioning
(boxing out) (3:51,
or the urgency in working back to his quarterback. (0:59,
Comes off the line quickly when he knows he is a primary target,
not nearly as much when he knows he's not (1:33,
has a tendency to watch the play if he doesn't get the ball
on shorter routes. (5:16,
Engram is a matchup nightmare, pure and simple. He possesses wide
receiver feet and speed housed inside the body of a smaller tight
end, but it comes at a cost. He blocks like he is a receiver and
adding too much muscle to his frame is probably going to take
away from the part of his game which makes him special: speed.
Thus, the odds of him ever becoming a passable in-line NFL tight
end are very slim, meaning he will have to be a "move"
tight end who spends most of his time in the slot. Even in today's
more wide-open NFL, it is still not easy to build a passing game
around a two-down "move" tight end, especially when
he may be a liability as a blocker. The same could once be said
about Reed as well, so there is hope for Engram.
Scheme fit is going to be incredibly important to Engram at the
next level. Maybe five teams in the NFL have a linebacker capable
of consistently bottling him up and perhaps a third of the teams
have a safety who can do the same. An offensive coordinator creative
and capable enough to get Engram matched up on a linebacker on
a regular basis will probably enable him to approach the statistical
heights Reed has reached in recent years. Conversely, a conservative
play-caller hoping to use him as an H-back (thus asking him to
block a bit more often) is probably going to be disappointed.
At this point, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if his NFL team
eventually tried turning him into a receiver. Assuming that doesn't
happen, his new offensive coordinator would be wise to consider
him a plus-sized slot at the start of his NFL career and hope
he can develop as a blocker down the road. While his big-play
ability in the passing game is definitely first-round caliber,
teams have to balance that against the possibility Engram's presence
on the field on running plays may hurt the offense as a whole.
For that reason, he needs to be considered a second-round prospect,
albeit one with monster upside in the right offense.
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.