As he aims to aid the Giants to their first win of the season, TE Evan Engram is also keeping tabs on his fellow rookie tight ends in the league.
Engram has been a bright spot for this Giants team that has struggled to kick off their 2017-18 campaign. The first-rounder is already making an impact, and he is watching the other rookies at his position to see how he is stacking up with the competition.
"I keep a close eye on it," Engram told The Post's Greg Joyce. "I don't worry about it too much, but I do kind of keep a close eye on how the other rookie guys are doing, even other tight ends in the league. It's definitely a small little eye keeping up with those guys."
Engram will go head-to-head with another first-round tight end this week in Tampa Bay's O.J. Howard. The two competed in the SEC before heading to the NFL, and though he doesn't like to admit it, Engram knew he was going to be the No. 1 tight end heading into the draft.
"I knew he was always the No. 1 tight end coming out and I was always No. 2, 3 or 4," Engram said. "I ended up going second. I definitely have a small chip on my shoulder, but just being cool with O.J., knowing what kind of guy he is and how hard he works, it's nothing ill or no tension. But it's always good to compete with guys, you bring the best out of each other."
Howard, who was drafted four picks prior to Engram, has not been utilized much in Tampa Bay's offense. He has only recorded two catches for 29 yards in their two games. Engram, on the other hand, has seen his fair share of targets, and he attributes his offseason and training camp work with QB Eli Manning has the reason for early success.
"I'm definitely getting more comfortable out there and things are, a little bit, starting to slow down and allowing me to get more to my game and know what I'm doing a lot more," Engram said. "A lot of it on this level is timing the quarterback. It's definitely another learning curve."
Engram has also been working on his blocking, an area that needed refining from the beginning. Having a veteran tight end like Rhett Ellison in the locker room has been a tremendous help to the rookie.
"He does so many good things that I try to put in my toolbox," Engram said.
With Engram seeing production, he now wants to see a tally in the win column as the Giants look to secure their first win this Sunday.
"It's not cool being 0-3, but it's definitely been a blessing and fun to go out and compete with our guys," he said. "The last game didn't end up how we wanted, but we kind of came together and got things going. So I'm really excited to get out there Sunday."
In three games this season, Engram has notched 13 receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown.