The first round of the 2014 NFL draft is officially in the books. Some teams royally screwed up (the Jaguars), other teams seemed to magically get the prospects they wanted without giving up much (Browns, Vikings). It was a draft full of plenty twists, turns and trades, but when it came to the #12 pick, Victor Cruz got his wish.
With the 12th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select Odell Beckham Jr.
You can find our analysis of OBJ here, but in he meantime, here are some reactions and quotes from players, management and fans.
Q: What’s your reaction to being a New York Giant?
A: I’m still trying to get everything in check. It’s an overwhelming experience. I’m so happy to be a Giant.
Q: What do you think you can bring to this offense right away?
A: I definitely think that I can come in and, if I get the opportunity to play, I could bring a lot of things – a deep threat or whatever the team needs me to do. Hopefully I get to return some punts and kicks.
Q: What about playing with Rueben Randle?
A: My big brother. He kind of taught me the ropes when I came into LSU and now I’m back with him again. It’s pretty incredible.
Q: Do you consider yourself a number one receiver? Is that, obviously I would imagine, your goal?
A: To be the number one receiver for the Giants? There are guys there who already have themselves established. I’m really looking forward to coming in and competing, competing for a spot with these guys. Wherever I may fall, I may fall but at the end of the day you always want to be that number one as a competitor, in everything you do.
Q: Did you bring enough stuff to stay in New York now or do you have to go back and get your belongings?
A: I’m definitely going to have to go home and come back. I did not bring enough stuff.
Q: Could this have worked out any better for you in terms of the draft? A week ago you were projected 18, 19. You end up 12 overall and you end up with the Giants. Could it have worked out any better for you at all?
A: Absolutely not. It couldn’t have worked out any better. It’s a perfect situation
Q: When you look at this draft, was getting weapons for Eli a pretty big priority for you?
A: That was a priority. Obviously we did some work in the offensive line in the free agency period, but you know, you look at your roster and you think in terms of how can we put ourselves in position again to be a high-scoring team. The good thing, I would think, as an offensive player coming in here is our veterans have a three-week head start on the rookies, which is not much in learning a new system. I think for a young man of Odell’s skill and his level of intelligence, that he will pick this up relatively quickly.
Q: Receivers in this offense, in the offense before, sometimes had trouble getting on the field right away, very technical, a lot of things they haven’t learned. Given the fact that you have a new offense and what you said about this player, do you think an impact right away is very possible?
A: I think you take that position right now with every guy that comes in the door. They better all contribute right away, whether it be on special teams, defense, offense, whatever it is they’re going to be… there’s no waiting around in this game today. We will expect right throughout the draft that there will be a strong contribution from each of the players that select and hopefully it will create the kind of competition that we need as well.
Q: Were you at all surprised at the way things panned out, I know you said Beckham was number one on your board, but were there other alternatives that could have helped you as well?
A: Yeah, there were a couple more guys up there that we talked about that we liked. Beckham had too much value and need for us at that spot. He is speed on the outside. There are guys he plays with in the SEC, that whatever side [Beckham] goes to, those guys back up. He is that big speed that you need on the outside that can go get that ball. He is almost pro-ready. We obviously think he is going to get better with pro coaching, but we think he is pro-ready now. He is a terrific route runner, and we love the pick.
Q: Is [Beckham’s] size at 5-11 what you were looking for?
A: When you look at the Super Bowl, how tall were the receivers [the Seahawks] won with? Tall receivers don’t always correlate to Super Bowl wins. Would you love to have a 6-5 guy that can run routes, and do the things that [Beckham] can do? Sure, but I do not think you need to have that to win Super Bowls. Again I think the Seahawks showed that last year.
Q: Can you describe the emotion in the room when you realized you were going to get the guy that was number one on your board?
A: We just try to keep our composure in there. We saw that it was falling our way, but you never know. We have had several times where the guy that we want gets picked right in front of us. If somebody would have taken him, I think it was Tennessee who picked right in front of us, if they had taken him, we would have been happy with a couple of the other guys we had on our board there.
Q: Are there ever any concerns that two receivers can be too similar. [Beckham] said he models his game after Victor?
A: No, I do not worry about that. Victor is an inside receiver, [Beckham] is an outside receiver. [Beckham] has more speed than Victor on the outside. I don’t think they are similar, I think [Beckham] said he likes Victor because they are similar in size. He is a little bit taller than Victor maybe. His body type and the way he moves around on the field are what I think [Beckham] likes about Victor, but I think they are two different receivers.
Q: You mentioned his return ability. How does he compare to the return guys you brought in during Free Agency?
A: It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. The more return guys you have in the building, the better. We haven’t had any in the building in some time. The more, the merrier. Whoever wins the job is fine with me, but we have some options there.
Q: How is his speed relative to the guys brought in during Free Agency?
A: [Trindon] Holliday is a fast guy. [Beckham] is a fast guy, but speed kills.
Q: Did you always think you were going to go offense first?
A: We try to stay with our board the best we can, and he was the highest player on our board then. It was an easy pick for us.
Q: Was it safe to say [Beckham] was a top-10 guy on your board?
A: That’s correct.
Q: Was it safe to say [Beckham] was a top-5 guy on your board.
A: Not safe to say that.
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) May 9, 2014
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) May 9, 2014
The #Giants take best available… and it’s at a need: Odell Beckham. Big-time speed threat.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 9, 2014