Looking back on the New York Giants 2013 season, there were a lot of areas that needed some serious overhaul. Strengthening the offensive line was key and they did so with the addition of an experienced wide receiver.
The Giants’ first round draft pick went to LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. The three-year starter was an ideal pick for the Giants because of his enormous amount of versatility. He was awarded the Hornung Award in 2013 for his versatility and he was also first-team All American as a return specialist in 2013 as well. I think Odell Beckham was the Giants’ best draft pick and will continue to develop and impress during this 2014 season with the Giants.
Beckham may be on the shorter side for a receiver but what he lacks in height he makes up in his vertical. He had a 38.5 inch vertical jump and 10-foot-2 broad. His hops allow him to play like a taller receiver. He shouldn’t be knocked for his height because he gets up there and nabs the high balls like a taller receiver would. He has a large catching radius and an extremely low 6.45 percent drop rate. He notched 59 receptions in 2013, eight of which resulted in touchdowns.
He also wooed at the combine with a 4.38-second 40. The Giants are definitely going to benefit in this area because once he breaks through he’s a tough one to catch. He has the speed and will play outside. He is known for his route running and perfecting all of them. From what I have read and seen he can play effectively in the short passing game and also get down field when you need him to. He gained 2,315 all-purpose yards his junior year, which was record setting for the university.
As I said before, Beckham is extremely versatile. Not only is he a receiver but also a dynamic punt returner. In an interview he said returning a punt was one of his favorite things to do and it shows. His return average over three years at LSU was 24.9 yards on 42 kickoff returns and 9.0 yards on 62 punt returns, including two for touchdowns.
Playing for the New York Giants is sort of full circle for Beckham. He went to the same high school as Eli Manning, they graduated years apart but grew up looking at his jersey on the wall. He now will have the chance to play with him and be the extra boost the offense needs. Manning and Beckham will be a good pairing because Beckham likes to play the outside and that’s just what Manning needs. He’s also excited to play with former LSU teammate, Rueben Randle.
“My big brother,” he said. “He kind of taught me the ropes when I came into LSU and now I’m back with him again. It’s pretty incredible.”
When two people have a bond and a friendship they work so much better together and will benefit the offense yet again. Odell Beckham was by far the Giants best pick and is said to be a “weapon” by Jerry Reese and I think he will be too. Hopefully Beckham will put the much-needed points on the board to prove me right.