Q: What do the Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans all have in common?
A: They could have had Odell Beckham Jr. on their team, and they all did something the Odell never does…they dropped the ball!
Now if you ask some of the GMs in the before-mentioned teams how they view their drafts from May 2014, I’m sure some will express confidence in their decisions. Though Jadeveon Clowney has been hurt part of the year and hasn’t been dominant, his upside was raw talent was too much to pass up. Khalil Mack has shown Raider fans that he will be their defensive center piece for years to come and the Falcons are extremely happy with their pick of Jake Matthews to sure up their O-Line and protect their franchise QB. Also, receivers like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans has shown promise as well as being stars for a long time in the league. However, all of these players will be on the list of players taken before the best talent to come out of 2014, the Sam Bowie to the Michael Jordan of NFL WIde Receivers.
The New York Giants have had by their standards a down year. After today’s victory against the Minor League Washington Redskins, the Giants find themselves at 5-9, 5 games behind their two biggest rivals, Dallas and Philadelphia. As the Cowboys and Eagles fight it out for the NFC East crown, the Giants are left sitting at home thinking pondering their future. Will Tom Coughlin, two-time winning Superbowl Coach be back to lead the team next year as missing the playoffs for the 3rd consecutive year? Will Jerry Reese, the GM who brought in the players which have lead the Giants to 2 titles in 4 years in the not so distant past, be charged with turning the franchise around? What does the situation at QB look like, as Eli Manning looks far removed from wearing the title, Two-Time Super Bowl MVP? However, as bleak as the current situation might be, a huge building block is in place and can give Big Blue Faithful a reason to assume that brighter days are on the horizon.
Everyone has seen the unbelievable catch Beckham made on Sunday night against the Cowboys, when he leaped 8 feet in the air, grabbed a pass one-handed as if he had stick-em on his hand, ignored the fact that he had a defender pulling him down, and landed his body just in-bounds. It was called the “BEST CATCH EVER” by many experts who have been around the game for decades. We’re also all seen the video of Odell making one handed catches, diving, leaping and damn-near doing back-flips in pre-game warm-ups and practices. He can throw the ball 60 yards on the line and also spin the all to himself and kick a 40 yard field goal. He’s an athletic freak and by far the best receiver the Giants have possibly ever had on their team, no offense to Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress.
The real story is told by his numbers on the year. He missed the first 5 games of the year with a hamstring issue, but his rookie numbers would give you no indication that he hasn’t played every down of the season. 972 yards on 71 catches, 9 TDs and his 97.2 yards per game as second behind Antonio Brown and Demayrius Thomas, two veteran receivers who are having career years. Beckham’s 9 TDs puts him only 3 behind the NFL leader, but considering he missed 5 games, his average of 1 TD per game is by far the best in the league. In less games, he has more yards than Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson and many other NFL veteran pro-bowlers. Did we mention that we’re talking about a ROOKIE with LESS THAN 10 GAMES!
As a Jets fan, I am jealous but as a New Yorker, I’m excited to be able to watch a young legend make his name on the greatest stage in the world, especially in a year in which Derek Jeter gave up the New York City sports throne. The sky is the limit, as the combination of speed, size, hands and pure athleticism is unmistakably special. Though there are many questions to answer in Giants nation in the next few months, their is no need to worry about who the main target will be for the next decade, as Odell Beckham Jr. is ready to take the NFL by storm.