Alabama's O.J. Howard tries to get past Clemson's T.J. Green...

Alabama's O.J. Howard tries to get past Clemson's T.J. Green after a catch during the second half of the college football playoff championship game, in Glendale, Ariz. Credit: AP / David J. Phillip

INDIANAPOLIS — The Giants haven’t had an impact tight end since the days of Jeremy Shockey, but they are taking a serious look at getting a big-time tight end in this year’s NFL Draft.

The Giants have interviewed the top two prospects at the Scouting Combine – Alabama’s O.J. Howard and Miami’s David Njoku. It’s uncertain whether either tight end will be there for the Giants’ 23rd overall selection, but the Giants wanted to get to know both players in case they’re still on the board.

The Giants have had only limited success at the tight end position since trading Shockey in 2008. Their most reliable threat was Martellus Bennett, who played on a one-year deal in 2012 and had 626 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Brandon Myers was a disappointment the following season, and while Larry Donnell had a solid year in 2014, dropped passes and injuries proved to be his undoing. Donnell lost the starting job in 2016 to Will Tye, the former Stony Brook tight end who made the team as a free agent in 2015.

Howard had 45 catches for 595 yards and three touchdowns for the Crimson Tide in 2016, and had 38 catches for 602 yards and two touchdowns during their national championship season in 2015.

Njoku had a terrific season at Miami in 2016, catching 43 passes for 698 yards and eight touchdowns, a 16.2-yard average. He played at the same school as Shockey, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2002.

Other highly regarded tight ends in this year’s draft include Gerald Everett of South Alabama, Jake Butt of Michigan, Jordan Leggett of Clemson, Evan Engram of Ole Miss and Bucky Hodges of Virginia Tech.

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