How first-round pick Evan Engram impressed at the Giants' OTAs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Three weeks of organized team activities are in the books. The New York Giants ran 10 voluntary practices, without Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon at any. Plenty was accomplished without them.

"We got a lot of teaching and learning done," coach Ben McAdoo said after Friday's final OTA. "That is the goal, and it looks like we have some chemistry going."

To recap OTAs, here are some observations:

  • OTAs are designed to focus on the rookies and new players. First-round pick Evan Engram was among the group that needed to learn the system, figure out where the cafeteria was located and get integrated into the Giants' program. He impressed on and off the field.

    Engram made the kind of play during Friday's practice that has the Giants excited he can contribute immediately to the offense. Linebacker Jonathan Casillas was draped on his hip as he ran downfield near the left hash. Engram, an uber-athletic tight end, jumped and caught the ball directly over Casillas.

    "He's such a dynamic player playing the tight end position with his skill set," Casillas said afterward.

    Long-snapper Zak DeOssie raved about a similar play by Engram early in OTAs. The rookie clearly has shown flashes.

    "I think, again, we are excited about the young man," McAdoo said. "He has a tremendous skill set to do a lot of different things for you. He shows that he is willing as a blocker. Now we have to get some pads on him and get his fundamentals right there. He is a conscientious young man; he works hard at football and seems to enjoy it.

    "He does a nice job in the meetings at this point and I think that he will get better as time goes on. ... [For] success in this business nowadays, meetings are pretty important. The good players do well in meetings and can take it on the field because there is just not as much time on the field as there used to be."

    The early, early reviews on Engram have been positive.

  • The media was allowed in to watch three of the 10 OTAs. In those practices, there were a lot of dropped passes by the running backs. Paul Perkins let a bunny slip through his hands in each of the first two workouts. Rookie Wayne Gallman had a couple of drops as well. Khalid Abdullah, too. It's definitely something to watch as the summer progresses. Good thing Shane Vereen says he's feeling good and taking it slowly this time after twice tearing his triceps last year. He remains the Giants' best pass-catching option out of the backfield.

  • McAdoo downplayed it, but the Giants certainly looked to be more multiple on offense at OTAs, unlike last season when they ran 90-plus percent of their plays with three wide receivers. Tight end Matt LaCosse said it appeared to him they were working on more two-tight-end sets than in the past. There were also plenty of jumbo sets Friday, with two tight ends and a fullback.

    This should make some of McAdoo's biggest critics happy. The Giants appear willing to adjust their offense to some degrees this season.

  • The tight end group is a major reason for the possible changes in the offense. The Giants appear to be significantly more talented and well-rounded at the position. Engram adds a different level of pass-catching threat. Rhett Ellison, even though he was sidelined most of the spring with calf soreness, will bring a blocking element they were missing. And LaCosse, back after missing all of last season with a knee injury, can help in both areas with his all-around skill set.

    "I think that top to bottom it is a competitive group," McAdoo said. "I think we have guys with different skill sets, and they are comfortable in their roles and they are willing to grow into other roles if need be."

    It could change the look of the entire Giants offense after they struggled badly at the position with their blocking and lack of production in the passing game last year.

Other notables:

  • Davis Webb really held his own for a mid-round rookie coming from an unconventional offense with little resemblance to the NFL game. He looked comfortable, flashed a strong arm -- especially on a deep throw to wide receiver Kevin Snead 30 yards downfield on Friday -- and didn't look the slightest bit overwhelmed. The third-rounder impressed.

  • D.J. Fluker is entrenched as a guard right now. He remained at guard even with right tackle Bobby Hart not at the final few OTAs. Rookie Adam Bisnowaty, not Fluker, stepped in with the first team in Hart's absence.

  • Sterling Shepard is again having a strong spring. Maybe it's in part because Beckham was not on the field and Shepard's opportunities increased. Still, he caught everything and inspired confidence that he'll be even better in his second professional season. Shepard looks like a real weapon out of the slot.

  • Darian Thompson is returning from a foot injury that forced him to miss most of his rookie season. He's going to face real competition for a starting spot from Andrew Adams. The Giants had them split first-team reps at OTAs.

  • It's B.J. Goodson's job to lose at middle linebacker. He received a lot of reps at OTAs.

  • Ereck Flowers does appear leaner. We'll see if it equates to improved performance. The Giants believe fatigue contributed to some of his technique problems late in games last year.

  • Wide receiver Tavarres King received a lot of first-team reps at OTAs and seemed to always be making plays. He should get more playing time as the Giants' fourth receiver.

  • The Giants have moved some players around this spring. Defensive tackle Jarron Jones was getting a look at left tackle on Friday. Meanwhile, defensive end Stansly Maponga has been moved to linebacker and linebacker Eric Pinkins is now a safety.