We’re continuing our series that will focus on some prospective targets that could be on the New Orleans Saints draft board at the end of the month. The potential targets could be found anywhere in the draft, and there’s no set order in which they will come out. The focus is to bring attention to where they can help the Saints most heading into 2017. Some will make more sense than others.
Do you really expect Sean Payton not to add to his offseason in this draft? I didn’t think so. Today’s focus is on Ole Miss’s Evan Engram, an offensive star in the SEC mocked to the Saints anywhere from the end of the first round to the beginning of the third in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Measurables & Combine Results
- Height: 6-foot-3
- Weight: 234 pounds
- Hands: 10”
- Arms: 33 1/2”
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.42 seconds
- Bench Press: 19 reps
- Vertical: 36.0”
- Broad Jump: 125.0”
- 3-Cone Drill: 6.92 seconds
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.23 seconds
How He Could Help the Saints
Similar to former New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham, there are questions on whether Engram is a Tight End or a Wide Receiver. For his NFL Draft profile, he’s listed strictly as a Tight End where his combine results were best of the group in 40 time, vertical jump, 3-cone, and 20-yard shuffle.
When he’s lined up as a receiving Tight End, he’s absolutely dominant. He ran a complicated route tree with the University of Mississippi and can stretch the field with deep routes as well as set up in the middle of the field for short/medium gains.
While he doesn’t have the elite size or build of a Jimmy Graham-esque presence at Tight End, he plays physically on contested catches and is not afraid of contact after pulling the ball in. Unfortunately, though, like Jimmy Graham, Engram’s blocking skills as a pure TE are questionable to say the least.
After signing a big deal to come to New Orleans, Coby Fleener left many Saints fans unimpressed after his first full season with the team. In two Tight End sets, opposite Fleener right now would be a player like Josh Hill, who is a perfectly average at the position. After then trading away Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots, the Saints could use another passing threat in the offense, and Engram could very well be that guy.
Evan is only 234 lbs. as it stands right now, but could very well add more meat and muscle on his frame as he gets older - remember, the kid is only 22 years old as it stands now. He could be drafted as a WR/TE hybrid with the hope that he is eventually able to bulk up just a little more, presenting a dominating physical presence both catching and blocking in the Saints offense.