Has very good hands and shows good ball skills, extending to make the grab. Does a very good adjusting to errant throws, high-pointing the ball on the lob. He'll extend for the throw down the seam and can make the back-shoulder grab. Has good size that coupled with his ability to adjust to throws makes him good in traffic. Does a nice job working out of the slot, and shows some burst to separate on the short and intermediate routes over the middle or in the flat. Effective at getting position in space as a blocker when working out of the slot or as an H-back, able to get the seal against smaller defensive backs and linebackers.
Lacks speed to really threaten downfield, lacking that quickness and suddeness to his game. Not particularly dangerous after the catch for similar reasons. Doesn't get a good release when he lines up as an inline tight end, slow to get off the line and get into his route working from a three-point stance. Lacks pop as a run blocker, particularly when he's an inline blocker. Will miss some assignments when working in the slot as a blocker as well.
He's a good, reliable receiver with very good hands and ball skills. He specializes on the short routes over the middle and is very good at moving the chains. He's not a playmaker, particularly downfield, and he's very limited as an inline blocker. He gets work there in short-yardage and near the goalline, but is not effective. Predominantly he lines up in the slot, which has been the norm in Mizzou's spread attack over the years. And past guys like Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman have struggled to adjust to the NFL game despite highly productive college careers, and it's hard to really distinguish Egnew as any better than either. The dropoff in production he saw from a senior was predominantly because of the much more erratic passing abilities of James Franklin vs. Blaine Gabbert. Came to Mizzou as a 200-pound wide receiver.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/9) at Arizona St: 8 targets, 3 rec., 27 yds (9.0 avg), 1 YAC (0.3 avg), 1 TDs,
(11/12) vs. Texas: 5 tgt., 3 rec., 30 yds (10.0 avg), 11 YAC (3.7 avg), 0 TDs; 1 key block
(12/26) vs. North Carolina: 3 tgt., 3 rec., 39 yds (13.0 avg), 16 YAC (5.3 avg), 0 TDs; 1 key block
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 50 catches, 523 yds, 10.5 avg, 3 TDs
I think Egnew can work in the NFL, just like I thought both Rucker and Coffman could work. But it won't work if teams try to square peg him. He's not going to be a guy that is ever really going to be a great inline tight end. He can improve there, but only to a level where you believe he's competent. Instead, the team that manages to make him work will be one that is going to split him out wide quite a bit and use him essentially as a slot receiver. He's not going to be a game-breaker, but he can be a guy that moves the chains. The sort of player he reminds me of is a player similar to Tony Scheffler or John Carlson, both of whom have developed into a good H-backs. He can be productive in a simialr role, where he is an H-back/slot receiver. Another good comparison is Evan Moore with the Browns. Like Moore, he can cause some matchup issues but is not going to be the ideal go-to option in most schemes. The problem with Moore in Cleveland is that while they do have a solid inline tight end in Ben Watson that is the true starter, the Browns lack that threat on the outside that can complement what Moore can do in the redzone and on third downs. If Egnew gets that at the next level, then he can be a productive role player. He'll never be an elite TE, but he can be a reliable option that in such a scheme that isn't afraid to use him as a super-sized slot receiver, he can consistently give you 40-50 catches a year and be a workhorse on third downs. If a team tries to make him into a more traditional tight end, then like Rucker and Coffman, it's going to be difficult for him to climb the depth chart because there are going to be guys that are much better blockers, and he'll be hard-pressed to get on the field initially as a role player.
Evan Moore, Browns.
Egnew could work in Atlanta as a reserve and role player. Koetter's offense makes use of the H-back position, and Egnew could be developed to take that job over Michael Palmer in the future. Egnew's more able to separate from man coverage and has better range, hands, and ball skills to be a more effective receiver. The issue for the Falcons is that unless they can get that reliable inline tight end to team with Egnew, he likely would not live up to his full potential. Because he would be miscast in that role, and would not likely be better than Gonzalez or Palmer is there. As a rookie, i wouldn't expect too many big things. He might be able to contribute 10-15 catches off the bench, but probably not much more than that. And whether down the line he can reach his potential as a 30-40 catch guy will depend on if the Falcons can add a more traditional tight end to take over for Tony Gonzalez long-term. Egnew would be a step in the right direction, but he would not be the final solution to finding the long-term successor to Gonzalez.
For a team that has that tailor-made role for Egnew as a No. 2 H-back/slot TE, then I think he could deserve a look in the late third or fourth round. For other teams that are going to try and make him a more traditional team, I would probably hold off drafting him until the fifth or sixth round simply because he doesn't really project well there better than lesser players.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Body Control: 8.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.