2014 NFL Rookie Wide Receiver Preview – Odell Beckham Jr.
Some great talent coming into the league this year. Tons of teams in need of adding depth and talent outside the numbers. With all the young Quarterbacks that have taken over the league in the past three-to-five years, we saw plenty of teams build their receiving corps through the draft. Lots and lots of big, tall, strong play-making receivers available this year. We can expect to see a ton of rookies make an impact in 2014, just hope your team drafted the right one!
Odell Beckham Jr. – WR, LSU, 5’11”, 198lbs, 32′ 3/4″ Arm Length
Drafted Round 1, Pick 12, New York Giants
Combine Results: 4.43 Forty / 38.5′ Vertical / 122.0′ Broad Jump
NFL Impact: Besides being chosen in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft (3rd wide receiver), New Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has a few other things he can look forward to once he reports to begin work with his new team. For one, he’ll be joining fellow Giants receiver Rueben Randle, who played with Beckham for a bit while the two were at LSU. “My big brother,” Beckham said of Randle. “He kind of taught me the ropes when I came into LSU and now I’m back with him again. It’s pretty incredible.”Beckham will also have an opportunity to catch passes from quarterback Eli Manning, whose jersey he used to regularly admire during his time at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans. “I remember walking through the school and seeing his jersey, along with Peyton’s,” Beckham said of Isidore Newman’s most famous NFL alumni thus far.
Beckham was an all-purpose standout as a Louisiana prep. As a true freshman in 2011 he played all 14 games (11 starts at “Z” receiver) and recorded 41 receptions for 475 yards (11.6-yard average) and two touchdowns. In 2012, he started 12-of-13 games at the “Z” position, tallying 43 receptions for 713 yards (16.6-yard average) with two touchdowns. To then explode in 2013 as the Paul Hornung Award winner as the nation’s most versatile player in ’13 when he broke the LSU single-season all-purpose yards record (2,315) and snagged 59 receptions for 1,152 yards (19.5-yard average) and 8 touchdowns in 13 starts at “X” receiver.
Odell has quick hands and feet to slip the jam though he only produced 7 bench press reps at 225lbs which was fewest amongst all receivers. He is a fluid route runner with the ability to separate from defenders and is fast across the middle of the field. He has great vision in the return game as well as being able to locate and track the ball over his shoulder. Sinks his hips and changes gears to create separation down field to allow windows for quarterbacks. Quick hands to pluck off his frame, he is a natural hands catcher. Terrific leaping ability, climbs the ladder over defenders to snatch throws out of the air. Creates space after the catch, has the ability to burst and use his shiftiness as a runner in space. Odell has a ton of play-making ability and should mesh well with Randle and Cruz.
Fantasy Impact: We are hoping to see a renewed Eli Manning come the 2014 regular season. He struggled terribly in 2013 has he completed just 317 passes out of 551 attempts (57.5 comp%) for 3818 yards, 18 touchdowns and a career high 27 interceptions. Prior to 2013, Eli had produced at least 25-plus touchdown passes in 4 years straight and threw for 4,000-plus yards in 3 of those 4 seasons. Eli should be able to get back to being much more consistent in 2014, his down side to 2013 was that he produced just 3 multiple touchdown games and only 4 games with 275-plus yards passing. Coming off an ankle injury that plagued him late in the season, we can expect to see the Giants get back to airing the ball out with Cruz, Randle and Beckham. With a solid amount of time, Beckham could be a solid late round No.4 Fantasy Wide Receiver with the potential of producing 45-55 receptions for 650-750 yards and 4-6 touchdowns all of which could increase if trust if earned and a bond formed between the rookie receiver and a quarterback aiming to bounce back.