Play them together.
Keep Evan Engram. Select Kyle Pitts with the No. 11 pick in the NFL Draft. Put them on the field at the same time and give the Giants two tight ends capable of making explosive plays, putting stress and strain on opposing defenses as they’re forced to find ways to deal with two bigger-bodied pass-catchers.
“Well, in a perfect marriage somehow Ja’Marr Chase finds his way down there, but I don’t see that happening,’’ NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah told The Post. “Kyle Pitts is going to be probably one of my top players in the whole draft as well. Man, you can do a lot of things out there, with him and Engram, you’d have a unique skill-set at that position.’’
Pitts averaged 17.9 yards per reception this past season at Florida, hauling in 12 touchdown passes, and at 6-6 and 246 pounds he falls in line with the size-speed terrors at tight end that often have great success at the NFL level. He might be on the board when it comes time for the Giants to make their first-round pick, especially if Chase and the Alabama wide receiver duo of Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are taken in the first 10 picks.
Pitts might be the next big thing, but history shows a great NFL tight end does not have to be a premium draft pick. What do Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Darren Waller and Zach Ertz have in common, besides great production? None of them were first-round picks. Neither was Rob Gronkowski, taken in the second round by the Patriots in 2010.
The emphasis for the Giants this offseason is to obtain playmakers for an offense that finished 31st in scoring in 2020. Waddle or Smith would instantly raise the talent pool in the receivers room. They would also instantly provide more support for Daniel Jones, entering his third NFL season with something to prove, than he was given in his first two years.
It is what young quarterbacks need to take a step forward. It is what Josh Allen experienced in his second – and especially third – year with the Bills.
“In his rookie year, I was at Josh Allen’s first start and the guys he was throwing to, he was so bad,’’ Jeremiah said. “And the next year, they brought in Cole Beasley and John Brown, guys who could really separate and get open, to give him some easier throws. And then they went out the following year and got Stefon Diggs, and you can see the trend line and where it goes. It’s not a one guy to bring in answer, I think they need to bring in hopefully two, three weapons. Now, getting Saquon [Barkley] back healthy is sure going to help too.”
The receiver pool is considered even deeper this year than in 2020, when the talent stream was stocked with pass-catchers.
“Last year in the second round we saw Chase Claypool go, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, Laviska Shenault, all those guys were second round picks,” Jeremiah said. “The year before was A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf. College football is pumping out receivers, that isn’t going to be an issue.”
One receiver Jeremiah likes above some of the others: Kadarius Toney from Florida, Pitts’ teammate. This past season, he had 70 receptions for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Gators.
“There’s going to be receivers littered throughout this draft,” Jeremiah said. “You could be in a situation if you really want a receiver you could trade back and get some extra picks and still get a really good player.”