May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU) holds up a jersey after being selected as the number twelve overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the New York Giants at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
First Round: Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – LSU
Previously, I praised the Giants selection of OBJ and today, I still love the pick. My opinion was that with a terrible year and a newly installed offense, Big Blue would need weaponry to help ease the transition to a new season. Odell is polished enough to play right away and contribute in some big ways. How will Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin get him the ball? Now, that is the question.
Credit: ESPN on YouTube
There is no doubting that Victor Cruz is this team’s number one receiver, despite various armchair analyst’s attempts at minimizing his value to the slot position. Regardless of Cruz’s worth, behind him lies a bunch of question marks. Rueben Randle was the clear number two, but his play was sporadic at best. Jerrel Jernigan was a late riser and Mario Manningham was re-signed after two years with San Francisco and knee problems. Nothing is guaranteed with this group. Better play from Eli Manning would certainly help their odds of success.
However, Ben McAdoo is allegedly installing an attacking offense featuring quick passes, plays in space and an up-tempo, West Coast style approach. Such a scheme involves simple timing routes that don’t require QB/WR chemistry to be absolutely crucial for offensive production, as say, Kevin Gilbride’s option route scheme demanded. That could bode well for Randle, as well as to aid Cruz’s slot dominance to make OBJ’s transition to the NFL level more opportunistic.
Ultimately, Beckham is going to be the third receiver at the bare minimum. His role with the offense is yet to be determined, but it’s been rumored that McAdoo’s offense will feature plenty of three receiver sets. This will allow OBJ multiple opportunities to prove his worth as the Giants first pick.