Picture Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Evan Engram lined up on the field for a late October game this fall.
The Giants have envisioned that thought of a healthy Barkley and Engram together over the past two seasons.If they all can stay healthy and be productive, the Giants can finally have the winning trifecta they have sought. Together, they can produce the anticipated results that can hasten the G-Men’s transformation into NFC East contenders this fall.
Certainly Jones and Barkley will be under the microscope for the 2020 season to see if they can further mature and stay on the field.
The real enigma is Engram.
When he was drafted in 2017, Engram showed how he could be the new prototype tight end with the size of a linebacker and the speed of a wide receiver. He caught 64 passes and made 11 starts in 15 games.His panache earned him a spot of the Pro Football Writers All-Rookie Team.
The Giants believed they had their next Mark Bavaro or Jeremy Shockey, and most indications had him better than either of them.But injuries have slowed his progress as he has appeared in 19 games over the last two years with 89 combined catches. Ironically, the CO-VID 19 pandemic has allowed Engram time away from the usual spring workouts, and he should have a clean slate in August.
For Jones, it is about the reduction in 11 lost fumbles from a total of 13 in nine games. However, he was one of only four rookies to toss more than four touchdowns in multiple games since 2000. Jones showed the composure and leadership down the stretch despite the outcomes that the Giants believed he could possess. Jones worked out with members of the receiving corps at Duke, and has asserted himself with the presence of a veteran quarterback in his second year.
Barkley, too, will be a question mark to see if he can further endure the rigors of being the team’s prime back after a high ankle sprain shelved him last season. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likely will utilize Barkley in the same fashion as he did with Ezekiel Elliot in Dallas with a heavy workload. A family source told me that Barkley has been extremely focused and ferocious in his offseason workouts.
Jones, Barkley, and Engram can solve all the Giants’ issues, as the team has other areas that need to be addressed in camp. But the trio both healthy and productive can pay huge dividends down the stretch in the coming season.