For Eli Manning, for Ben McAdoo, and especially for general manager Jerry Reese, Evan Engram has been heaven-sent.
Reese is under fire again for his ill-fated gamble on the offensive line returning intact, and rookie right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, the 32nd pick, has been saintly down in New Orleans.
But Reese does not have to apologize for Heaven Engram, the 23rd pick of the 2017 NFL draft.
Engram smiled from here to Ole Miss when The Post asked him what he thought about Heaven Engram.
“I like that a lot,” Engram said. “I’ve never heard that one before.”
Giants tight end coach Kevin Gilbride is looking for Engram to finish blocks better. But with Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall lost for the season, the Giants should place a bigger premium on making Engram a receiving weapon.
“If you had to compare him to somebody, you’d probably say Jordan Reed,” Gilbride said. “But again, he’s a young player and he’s developing. But the sky’s the limit for him.”
“That’s probably the best comparison I’ve gotten,” Engram said. “[Reed is] far ahead of me, I’m just trying to get to where he is, but I think that’s a pretty good comparison.”
Beckham’s first six games: 31 receptions for 463 yards and three touchdowns. Engram’s first six games: 24 receptions, 292 yards and two TDs.
“I think Evan’s done a good job learning the offense, taking to coaching, doing things the right way,” Manning said. “Kinda understanding when something has to be done very specific, and then when things are more, ‘Hey, you gotta get open,’ and knowing when to be a football player and having a feel for things. I think he’s done a good job kinda knowing those two differences and adjusting and talking about it and making sure he’s on the same page so he can go out there and play fast and make plays.”
Engram plays 4.42 fast at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds.
“His speed, but also just his body control, being able to get in and out of breaks when running fast,” Manning said.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was asked who Engram reminds him of.
“Like a Vernon Davis. Big guy that can get down that field, act like a receiver and still be a tight end, block a little bit,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
How high is up for Heaven Engram?
“He’s gonna do it. He’s The Truth,” DRC said.
Engram was tied with Jared Cook for third in tight end targets with 41 after six games, behind only Zach Ertz (53) and Travis Kelce (49). Buccaneers rookie tight end O. J Howard, drafted ahead of Engram, has been targeted just 12 times in five games.
“He’s basically a tight end that plays like a receiver,” safety Andrew Adams said. “So it’s a matchup issue for guys trying to put linebackers and safeties on him.”
Engram was asked what the biggest surprise has been for him in the NFL.
“Just how hard it is to win, how much one play or one yard or one inch matters in the whole landscape of a game,” he said.
Engram enjoyed a breakout game (five catches, 82 yards, one TD) against the Broncos’ vaunted No Fly Zone. Now it’s the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom.
“I’ll do whatever they ask me to do — wide receiver, or they need me to play some fullback, I’m down to do it,” Engram said.
New York hasn’t scared him in the least. He loves being a Giant. He’s ready to seize the opportunity and try to show that there can be Life After Beckham.
“I wish it didn’t happen the way it did, but we still got a season to play, so a lot of guys, especially myself, just trying to step up,” Heaven Engram said.
Catch a rising star.