Just because the Chicago Bears signed free agent Dion Sims doesn’t mean the team is out of searching for upgrades in the tight end market:
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) March 29, 2017
Engram is a 6-foot-3, 234 pound dream tight end, who can easily get lost in the shuffle of a deep draft, especially when much of the draft focus has been on Alabama’s O.J. Howard or Michigan’s Jake Butt. However, that shouldn’t excuse you from keeping an eye on Engram, who is Sports Illustrated’s No. 27 draft prospect.
Engram has high-end speed, running a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash that was the best among tight ends, and ranked fifth behind pass catchers – meaning only four wide receivers ran a better time. He also showed the ability to make plays after being lined up in various positions, which could come in handy at the next level. Of course, Engram has purported weaknesses; he isn’t much of a blocker, and his routes could use some refining.
And yet, Engram has playmaker potential that should be in demand for any team, especially one like the Bears that doesn’t have those types of players at the wide receiver position (or at tight end). He caught 65 passes for 926 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior for Ole Miss in 2016, a season in which he earned his second First-Team All-SEC honors, and was selected as a First-Team All-American.
NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah recently asked five NFL executives which player improved their draft stock the most since the end of the college football postseason. Engram popped up on the list as the executive cited his improvement in blocking at the Senior Bowl, adding Engram “has quietly put together the best spring of any prospect in the draft.”
Talk about high praise.
CBS Sports has Engram ranked third among tight ends (29th overall), and projects him to go in the first or second round. If the Bears were fortunate enough to grab Engram in the second round, they would benefit from adding a player with upside to a pass-catching corps that needs it.