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2017 NFL Draft: Evan Engram highlights, stats, combine numbers and more

The best tight end in Ole Miss history should make for a deadly receiving threat at the next level.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Evan Engram arrived on the Ole Miss campus as a three-star footnote to a historic recruiting class that included five-stars Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell and Tony Conner. Engram received no other SEC offers, but Hugh Freeze seemed to know something other programs didn’t. In an interview following his commitment, Engram gushed, “(The coaches) said my type of play is perfect for (Freeze’s) offense... the future is bright.”

Four years later, Engram left Ole Miss as the school’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown grabs by a tight end and heads into the 2017 NFL Draft as one of the position’s most coveted players. After a down junior season and concerns over his blocking ability convinced him to return for a fourth year in Oxford, Engram led all college tight ends with 926 yards and finished second with eight touchdowns, making an argument as the best tight end in the country despite being snubbed as a finalist for the Mackey Award.

The measurables

Height Weight 40-yard dash Bench press Vertical jump Broad jump 20-yard shuttle 3-cone
Height Weight 40-yard dash Bench press Vertical jump Broad jump 20-yard shuttle 3-cone
6'3 234 4.42 sec 19 reps 36.0 in 124.0 in 4.23 sec 6.92 sec

The stats

Season Receptions Yards Yards/Catch Touchdowns
Season Receptions Yards Yards/Catch Touchdowns
2016 65 926 17.4 8
2015 38 464 12.2 2
2014 38 662 17.4 2
2013 21 268 12.8 3

He’s a lethal receiver

Engram’s blazing 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine not only topped that of all other tight ends posted by a tight end, but smoked the majority of wide receivers in Indy. His 4.23 second shuttle and 6.92 second 3-cone drill were top times as well, but it was undoubtedly this 40 that raised scout’s eyebrows and sent Engram rocketing up draft boards.

Of course, speed isn’t much use if you can’t catch, but luckily Engram has some pretty sweet receiving skills as well. Here he is showing off some Odell Beckham-style one-handers.

He’s a matchup nightmare

CBS Sports draft profile on Engram describes him as “a versatile offensive weapon...(whose) athleticism allows him to to create mismatches with linebackers and safeties.” Indeed, over the past four years, Ole Miss fans have seen countless linebackers bamboozled by Engram’s quickness and agility. One such victim was star Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson, who had the misfortune of being matched up with Engram in a Senior Bowl practice.

That wasn’t the first time Engram torched a Bama defender—he racked up nine catches for 138 yards and this touchdown during the Rebels upset bid last season:

His blocking leaves something to be desired

At just 6’3, 234 lbs., Engram is a bit smaller than the prototypical NFL tight end, which leads to his biggest weakness: he struggles at times to be a dependable blocker. But while Engram will always be more comfortable splitting out wide than playing tight to the line and absorbing NFL D-ends and linebackers, he has made significant progress as a blocker last season.

“[NFL teams] know I can catch and be explosive down the field,” Engram said when announcing his return for a senior year, “they just want to see me put a little weight on. I think this offseason, [I'll] just really work on getting stronger, getting bigger and being able to still keep my speed."

Indeed, Engram put on eight pounds of muscle during the offseason and showed improved technique in both run and pass blocking. Here he is (No. 17 going in motion) stonewalling Bama pass-rushing monster Tim Williams:

Blocking aside, Engram’s elite athleticism will be a boon to any team looking for an offensive game changer.

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