EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Davis Webb to Evan Engram. It took all of one play at New York Giants rookie minicamp for Webb, the third-round quarterback pick, to hit Engram, the first-round tight end pick, for a completion that would've had fans on their feet had it not been during a closed practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
It was a simple play in which Webb took the snap, went into his drop and fired a dart near the right hash. Engram was running a dig or hitch at about 5 yards. The pass was at Engram’s chest, and he made the grab without any trouble.
It’s a connection the Giants hope to see plenty of on the practice field now and in games for many years to come. The future of the franchise could hinge on the success of Webb to Engram.
The Giants and the rest of the NFL have seen that combination before. Engram’s only catch at the Senior Bowl earlier this year came on a 10-yard pass from Webb. Little did they know at the time that it was an audition for their future.
Now they’re teammates, roommates and fast friends. They texted after the Senior Bowl, and it continued after they were both selected by the Giants.
“It’s funny because Evan was my favorite player at the Senior Bowl. I told him that there,” Webb said Friday after the first day of rookie minicamp practice. “Couple months later, we’re on the same team. So that is really cool. Evan is a great player. He works his butt off. He did a great job [Friday] with his assignments and is coached really well. We have a good relationship off the field, and hopefully that translates to a good relationship on the field.”
Their first practice with the Giants seemed to go reasonably well. Webb looked natural taking snaps under center -- something he never did in college -- and making quick reads and throws. Engram caught the ball well, and his fluidity was obvious.
At 234 pounds, he looked like a natural receiver.
“I thought [Engram] did a nice job,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “Guys weren’t swimming mentally. So that is a good start. Anytime you can get out there and get a clean practice and stay on your feet the first day, it’s a good beginning.”
With his sleeves rolled up and his biceps bulging, Engram looked like an oversized wide receiver. He should serve as a nice target for Eli Manning this season and Webb in the future, if everything unfolds as expected.
Instant chemistry already exists between the young quarterback out of Cal and tight end from Ole Miss.
“D-Webb is going to be good,” Engram said. “He was really comfortable out there. We were rooming together last night, kind of going over stuff together. So it kind of paid off [Friday].”
Upon arriving in East Rutherford, the Giants handed the rookies their playbooks. Quickly, Webb and Engram went to work.
They created flashcards and studied together Thursday night. This is something Webb says he’s done several times having to learn new offenses in high school and college.
The extra off-the-field effort appeared to help. Even though some players were spinning Friday from information overload, Webb and Engram appeared to hold their own on the field in their first practice as Giants. They looked like two of their top draft picks.
“It was fun,” Engram said. “It's a blessing to be out here. Great chemistry out there. A lot of guys flying around, having fun. Great execution, some things that we need to work on, but overall good day.”
It didn’t hurt to have a quarterback he’s friendly and familiar with throwing him the football. The Giants can only hope it is a sign of things to come and that Engram and Webb grow closer, more efficient and effective on the field.
As draft classmates and roommates, they will certainly get to know each other better. Now if only the football chemistry grows simultaneously.
"To me, I thought he was the best tight end [at the Senior Bowl]. He was very physical. A lot of people knocked on him because I guess they didn’t block as much at Ole Miss, but you can split him out. He’s one of the fastest guys in the draft last year -- not just tight ends, but overall. He’s a competitor. He works hard. You can tell he just dived into the playbook at the Senior Bowl, learned it very quickly there, and he’s done that [Thursday night].
"Hopefully we continue to get better and better."
That’s exactly what the Giants would like to happen.