Which Giants Player Has the Best Chance to Become a First-Time Pro Bowler?
The Giants did not have a player selected to the Pro Bowl at the end of the 2019 season, a testament to the team being out of playoff contention so early.
But there's good news on the horizon for Giants fans who might be looking for a reason to tune into the league's annual all-star game (assuming it's played).
SI.com senior writer Conor Orr recently ran down its list of players who could be first-time Pro Bowlers in 2020, and he likes the chances of tight end Evan Engram making his first Pro Bowl this season thanks in part to the change int he coaching staff.
An infusion of two minds that value the tight end position significantly, Joe Judge and Jason Garrett, could be a major boon for Engram. He has been on torrid stretches before in his career and still might be one of the more athletically unique players in the conference. Extending his 2019 numbers out to a full season shows a player who does not drop a ton of passes (three in half a season) and gets a decent amount of yardage after the catch. Last year, Engram seemed to be settling into a role where he was comfortable catching more medium-range passes as opposed to mostly intermediate-range balls.
There's no question that if Engram is used correctly on offense--as a receiver and not so much as an inline blocker--he can put up some impressive numbers, perhaps even becoming that linchpin that the Giants don't have in their passing game.
The problem with Engram has been his durability issues. The closest Engram came to playing a full season was in 2017 as a rookie he appeared in 15 games. Since then, he's missed 13 games over two seasons due to assorted injuries.
Speaking of injuries, let's talk about his most recent injury, a lisfranc issue in his foot for which he underwent surgery last December.
Had there been spring workouts, Engram probably wouldn't have been cleared to participate as he continues his rehab after having surgery so late in the season last year.
The hope is that Engram should be ready to hit the field whenever training camp begins.
But the Giants won't know for sure how soon they can green-light Engrms return to the field until they get him in the building and have him undergo a medical exam.
With all that said, there is reason to be optimistic. The Giants decided to exercise the option year in Engram's rookie deal, which means they're not ready to give up on his talent.
And with good reason. If Engram can stay healthy, his production could explode, and for proof of that, look no further than what happened in Dallas with tight end Jason Witten and his production in the Cowboys offense.
As Gene Clemons noted in his breakdown of how Engram might be deployed in the new Giant offense, Witten averaged 127 pass targets per year between the ages of 25 and 31, despite the presence of a legitimate No. 1 receiver and a top rushing attack.
The talent is undoubtedly there, and there have been glimpses of what that talent can produce. But it all means nothing if Engram can't stay healthy.
Even if he is green-lighted for a full return, it will remain to be seen if Engram has lost any of his speed after having surgery for a lower-body injury.
The Giants are no doubt hoping that won't be the case as if they can get a full season out of Engram, the sky is the limit for the offense.