What more can be said about rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that has not already been said? The young man is electric with his play after only 12 games – putting up a final stat-line of 91 catches for 1,305 yards and a dozen touchdowns.
Beckham missed the first four games of this past season due to a hamstring injury that he suffered during the rigors of a Tom Coughlin-training camp. After supposedly being in the doghouse of his head coach, Beckham would return in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons where he would most notably score his first NFL touchdown.
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Then following that game in the week’s practice leading up to another divisional game at the Dallas Cowboys, wide receivers coach Sean Ryan stated, “I said to Odell, ‘Your rookie season is over now. You’re not a rookie anymore. Congratulations, you’re a vet'” (Dan Graziano, ESPN).
Beckham would be relied upon to help keep the offense afloat with the meat of the season still on the plate.
Fast forward to three weeks later and Beckham would go on to already immerse himself into NFL record books by tying Michael Irvin’s consecutive streak of games with 90 receiving yards or more, at nine games.
From Week 9 through 17, Beckham put up a line of 81/1,199/9. While discarding his first three games of action along with his four games of inactivity, he would go on to put up an incredible effort in those nine games – an effort that is considered productive within a full 16-game slate by any wide receiver.
What is impressive of Beckham is his ability to attack the football after coming out of his route (if we have to exclude his exhibited ability to catch the football with one hand).
Beckham brought a lot to the table during yet another disappointing season for the Giants as a whole. Despite the season being yet another sour one, there is much to look forward next season with the return of Cruz and another season in the West Coast offense for Manning.
Beckham finally brings that outside presence that has been missed by a once-upon-a-time dominant Hakeem Nicks. The former may be the one to put the passing game over the top, figuratively and literally, as Cruz can move inside into the slot in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s base three-wide receiver sets.
Beckham will easily win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award and rightfully so. There has not been another rookie, on both sides of the football, who has had a bigger impact on his team than him. His nine-game stretch was ultimately impressive, and that is understating it. Beckham will likely see the Pro Bowl come late-January since he is the first NFC alternate at the position.
The argument regarding his placement amongst the elite wide receivers will commence. With respect to veterans such as Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and Demaryius Thomas – they have earned their spots amongst the NFL’s elite wide receivers. It is not farfetched to stick Beckham right outside of that circle as of now.
It is more integral that Beckham keeps up a high volume of output production on a consistent basis. Also, there is no room for injuries. The hamstring injury plagued him early on but many are hoping that he avoids being labeled as an injury-prone player. It is still too early to label him as one as, knock-on-wood, that could have just been a fluke.