Odell Beckham Jr. Tops List Of Non-Quarterback MVPs
This week, ESPN’s Louis Riddick compiled a list of the most valuable players in the NFL not playing the quarterback position and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. tops the list.
Riddick made it clear that if he were building a team from the ground up, the players on his list wouldn’t necessarily be the first drafted. However, players like OBJ, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski – the top three players on the non-QB MVP list – directly affect wins and losses for their team.
Riddick had this to say about Beckham’s role on the Giants:
“If you took Odell off of that offense and off of that football team, they’re not even in some of the games that they were in last year… If you’re looking at the lineup on Saturday and you say, ‘OK, Odell Beckham isn’t playing for the Giants.’ Do you think they’re going to win football games?”
That could be what’s meant by “game-changing receiver.” At times last year, when Rueben Randle was checked out or the running game was ineffective, OBJ was Eli’s only real threat on offense.
In 2015, OBJ accounted for 25% of Eli’s completions and 37% of his touchdown passes. The drop off after Beckham on the depth chart last season was significant. With Victor Cruz injured, Manning’s other options at receiver were Randle and return specialist Dwayne Harris. TE Will Tye and and RB Shane Vereen had more receptions than Harris in 2015. Beckham had a tremendous effect on the offense as a receiving threat and drawing coverage to open up the field for other receivers.
There are still non-believers, however. Also this week, Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd went as far as to suggest if he were Jerry Reese, he’d trade OBJ.
“Everybody’s into these wide receivers. The Giants were 6-10, 6-10 with Odell Beckham. You know what they were before him? 7-9. I’m not saying he’s winning or losing games, but where’s the value?…Odell Beckham’s not gonna win games. If you could trade Odell Beckham today and get a left tackle, All Pro, you’d do it. You’d do it in a heartbeat. I’d trade Odell Beckham in 15 minutes if you could give me a starting right guard and an All Pro left tackle. Done.”
Any Giants fan would say Cowherd is insane, but let’s play devil’s advocate. Manning was awful against the blitz in 2015, better than only Sam Bradford and Nick Foles. According to ESPN, “in the past three years, Manning’s passer rating against the blitz (82.0) ranks in the bottom five league-wide.” Upgrading the offensive line would not only improve Manning’s play, but drastically improve the Giants’ running game.
But trade OBJ? Beckham has broken two dozen NFL and Giants records in his two-year tenure in the league, including most yards for any receiver in his first 24 games. It’s pretty safe to say Reese will wait and see how this Odell Beckham Jr. thing plays out.