PHILADELPHIA – With the No. 23 pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Evan Engram, a tight end from Mississippi.
Here's some information on Engram's draft profile from NFL.com:
Ole Miss was one of the few teams in the country that utilized their athletic tight end to his full potential. The nation's most prolific tight end won first-team All-SEC and All-American accolades by catching a team-high 65 balls for 926 yards and eight scores. The two-time team captain was productive throughout his career, starting with a great freshman season (21-268, three TD) in spite of missing a month of the regular season with an ankle injury. In 2014, Engram was a first-team all-conference pick after leading the nation's tight ends with a 17.4 yards per catch average (38-662, two TD). That average dropped the following year, but league coaches still voted him second-team All-SEC (38-464, two TD).
Good explosion over the first 5 yards of his route. Plus athletic ability with easy-opening hips. Nimble feet with quick, controlled strides into and out of his breaks. Accelerates out of his breaks to uncover from defenders for quarterback. Will have to be guarded by defensive backs. Opens quickly to find the ball. Successful working all three levels at Ole Miss. Has true vertical speed to attack the seams. Competitive, athletic runner after the catch. Springy leaper. Jumped out of the gym to snare a touchdown over the head of a Georgia defender. Able to pluck balls low, high, and behind him.
Needs to learn when and where to sit down in the middle of the field. Must learn to do a better job of working back to the ball. Doesn't post up defenders effectively. Allows defender to work through him and disrupt the catch. Has had issues with drops and contested catches could be an issue. Allows throws to beat him up at times. Needs to do better job of selling a two-way go to the top of his routes rather than giving route direction away. Move tight end only who lacks dependability as a blocker.
Draft projection: Rounds 1-2
NFL comparison: Jordan Reed
Makes up for his lack of size with athletic ability and plus speed for the position. Engram has experience as a safety blanket for Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly and can work all three levels of the field. He will appeal strictly to teams looking for a move tight end who can be deployed as a chess piece in a matchup-based passing attack. Engram's ability to stress defenses could land him on Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) of the draft and a potential starting role early in his career.
-- Lance Zierlein