The New York Giants selected Odell Beckham Jr with the 12 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Beckham was one of 5 receivers taken in the first round. While each of these receivers has a completely different set of attributes, they have had a shockingly similar amount of success. Beckham and Kelvin Benjamin lead the first round 5, with 59 receptions.
Mike Evans however leads in both yards and touchdown passes. Evans has 935 yards and 10 touchdown passes with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Which rookie wide receiver is the best hands down though?
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Beckham clearly wins at minimum the best highlight. I have never seen a catch generate that much conversation, especially in a losing effort to the Dallas Cowboys.
You all know exactly what I am talking about as his season defining catch has been made into more memes than Kim Kardashian’s break the internet pose. Where however does the Giants instant sensation rank in this special draft class of great receivers?
Beckham is the best route runner and has already proven to have two of the most reliable hands in the league. He has big play writen all over him. Him and Buffalo Bills’ very own Sammy Watkins are the technicians of this group. These are the receivers that defenders have trouble keeping up with and because of their high football intelligence and sharp route running that can beat almost anybody.
Brandin Cooks is also in this category but is in my eyes a peg below Beckham and Watkins. Evans and Benjamin are the receivers that are always open above their head. These receivers can catch the jump ball, the 50-50 balls that take toughness to haul in. Evans has emerged as the best red zone threat of this draft class.
While Beckham has certainly proven to be capable of acrobatic catches, the two 6’5″ rookies have a built in advantage in this category. The NFL has seen great draft classes at the quarterback position. In 1983 we saw the rookie seasons of John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
In 2004 the Giants got Eli Manning, the San Diego Chargers got Phillip Rivers and the Pittsburgh Steelers got Ben Roethlisberger. In 2008 Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco both went to the playoffs as rookie quarterbacks. The 2014 NFL draft class gives the wide receiver position possibly its greatest crop ever.
Nov 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches a 22-yard touchdown pass in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerbackRobert Alford
(23) and free safetyDezmen Southward
(41) in the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
In one of the most extraordinary draft classes for any one position, the Giants got a receiver with all time great potential in Beckham.
The LSU Tiger is off to a pretty strong start in New York red, white and big blue.