We talked tight ends with Hugh Freeze and Maurice Harris today, plus players Nick Parker and Jack Nuismer.
Freeze says he doesn’t have one tight end that can do all things required at the position. Harris, the tight ends coach, softened that a little bit in his assessment that there’s not one player who excels at blocking, catching and knowledge of the system right now.
You heard Harris rave about Evan Engram there. The evening practice Wednesday was when Engram showed out with a couple of touchdown catches. The practice was closed to media.
I’ll say, however, it was not surprising to hear of two touchdown grabs for Engram, one of them a leaping catch over a defender, apparently. He certainly looks the part.
The Rebels threw 261 complete passes last year. Only 25 were caught by tight ends. Engram may have the athleticism and the work ethic to change that if he continues to grow in his understanding of the offense.
The problem with Ole Miss tight ends right now is that there’s a blocker, a catcher and a running back convert still figuring things out.
Jack Nuismer, the blocker, doesn’t believe the position will be limited in games.
Harris seemed pleased with Parker’s progress. Clearly Parker, a star running back at South Panola, was buried on the depth chart there. Maybe he can get on the field at tight end, but it sounds like he still has some ground to cover.
Physically, though, it looks like Parker, at 6-0, 234, has the best chance to “fool” the opposition. He has been in a position that handles the football, and he obviously did that throughout high school. If he can improve his blocking he might be a guy who doesn’t get labeled in games such as to let the other team know what’s coming.
The reality is there’s a question mark at tight end, but there are also a number of ways through sets, formations and the like, to cover for a question mark at tight end. It’s better than having a question mark with your starting quarterback.