NFL

TE Evan Engram says wanting to play with Doug Pederson lured him to the Jaguars

Tight end Evan Engram hasn’t exactly lived up to his billing since the New York Giants selected him with the No. 23 overall pick in 2017. Injuries, drops, and struggles in run blocking have plagued his career so far, but now, Engram gets to smash the reset button after signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency after spending his first five seasons with the Giants.

Engram met with the local media earlier this week and said new head coach Doug Pederson played a significant role in his signing.

A big part of my decision was [Head Coach] Doug [Pederson] coming in here,” he said. “Obviously playing against him twice a year the last four years when he was in Philly and his resume and pedigree, using the tight end position, and some of the talent that he’s developed was a big part of my decision.”

Pederson’s West Coast-ish offense with the Jaguars will likely feature a heavy dose of “12 personnel” or two tight ends if it resembles anything like the one he ran with the Philadelphia Eagles. During his last two seasons, he finished second in 2020 and first in the league in 2019 in terms of two-tight end usage at 35% and 52%, respectively.

Engram also said Jacksonville stood out to him because of second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the organization’s approach to free agency. Engram believes the Jaguars are turning their misfortune around and wants to be a part of it.

Engram’s one-year contract is a smart and responsible move from the Jaguars because of his injury and performance issues. However, if he doesn’t pan out, Jacksonville will need to seriously address the tight end position during the 2023 offseason for Lawrence’s sake.


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