Big Blue United

Big Blue United: Why Odell Beckham Jr. is a Natural Fit for the Giants

Odell Beckham Jr. joined a long list of LSU players to join the Giants.
Photo Credit: Rogelio V. Solis / Associated Press

By Rich Nardo – Big Blue United 05.09.14

One is a major collegiate program, decidedly southern, that is no stranger to controversy. The other, a legendary professional football franchise that has built its reputation on being a model organization and, until recently, a beacon of good ol’ northeastern smashmouth football. From there, the differences between the programs seem to continue on indefinitely until you start to think that perhaps the only common ground they share is an innate, longstanding ability to win football games.

Still, dating all the way back to Y.A. Tittle in the early 60’s (well technically Tom Loflin in 1946) there is a long line of LSU Tigers that have gone on to play with the New York Giants including Leonard Marshall, Corey Webster and Rueben Randle. Last night, Odell Beckham Jr. became the 19th Bayou Bengal to sport a Giants jersey on draft day, as well as, one of the countless others that have called both Giants Stadium (or Metlife) and Death Valley home.

In Beckham Jr., the Giants got arguably the most versatile receiver in the draft who’s most frequent pro comparisons are Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison, both of whom worked out pretty well for the other Manning brother. He’s able to seamlessly shift between the “X”, “Z” and “Slot” roles and is a proven triple threat (he’s also a punt and kick returner) who broke the LSU single season record last year for all-purpose yards, winning the Paul Hornung Award in 2013 for college football’s most versatile player in the process. Beckham has a great grasp of the bigger picture as a football player and the right mind for the sport. That mental propensity for the game combined with blazing speed (4.38 40-time) and the fact that he is a precise route-runner add up to a wide receiver that could end up being an immediate contributor in the Giants offense and a potential all pro a few years down the line.

Source: The Washington Post

Further, you have to love OBJ’s pedigree. His mother was an All-American at LSU as a track runner who went on to be a national champion. His father was a running back at LSU, and OBJ went to the same high school as the Manning brothers (Isidore Newman in New Orleans). He attended the Manning Passing Academy twice, has thrown the ball around with Eli before and Rueben Randle was his college roommate. In an offense that showed a complete lack of chemistry in the passing game last year, having an intelligent receiver like Beckham Jr who already has a history to build on with his quarterback and other outside receiver may be just what the doctor ordered for the Giants offense.

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 10.37.08 AM

Beckham Jr. (33) and Randle (2) were roommates at LSU and OBJ still refers to Randle as ‘Big Brother’.
Photo Source: Rueben Randle’s Instagram

There has been clamoring about OBJ being a bad pick due to the Giants needs at other positions or for a bigger receiver that Eli could trust throwing those fade routes to. Lets not forget that 2014 is a deep draft at tight end and offensive line, two primary positions that Giants fans were hoping for round one. What OBJ does is really take the top off the defense and stretches the field with his speed. In McAdoo’s new hybrid-west coast offense, OBJ will keep defenses honest and force them to devote less resources to Victor Cruz or potentially pay the price. Plus, Beckham has demonstrated an uncanny ability to get behind defenses, as well as, a tremendous ability to climb the ladder. Also, at 6’2″ his counterpart Rueben Randle isn’t a small receiver and showed the potential to win jump balls last year. With the starting job firmly in hand, Randle will be able to come into this season fully focused on improving his game and with the confidence that should see his ability on the long and 50/50 balls that much more improved.

Source: Hank Jones Scouting

Let’s picture this scenario in 2014. A new offense that emphasizes speed and a retooled offensive line that is infinitely better than the abysmal unit of 2013. Rashad Jennings and David Wilson (provided he’s healthy) are both more dynamic in the backfield than the rotating gallery of RBs the Giants had back there most of last year, and both excel in the passing game. A receiving core with Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jerrel Jernigan scorching the underneath routes and breaking big plays and Rueben Randle moving into the true “X” position where he played his best ball last year. Then, potentially a guy like Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Troy Niklas or C.J. Fiedorowicz as a big red zone target and running those long seam routes that the Saints and Patriots have so much success with. As for the final piece of the puzzle, having all of these weapons and better protection will lead to Eli regaining his confidence and returning to form. Is it me, or is 2014 starting to look like it could be an exciting year offensively for the Giants? One in which Beckham Jr. will likely step into a prominent role almost immediately.

Don’t believe me? Ask the experts.

This guy is a great player. He’ll be an All Pro who may be the best WR in this Draft” – Gil Brandt (the Godfather and most trusted man in football)

By far the most versatile receiver in the draft.” – Marc Ross (Giants VP of Player Evaluation)

He’s a lump-in-your-throat kind of return guy.” – Jerry Reese (Giants’ General Manager)

GEAUX GIANTS!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][URL=http://s1370.photobucket.com/user/BigBlueUnited/media/IMG_0185_zps0ebf906e.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag270/BigBlueUnited/IMG_0185_zps0ebf906e.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/author_image] [author_info]Rich Nardo (@heynardo) is the senior managing editor for BigBlueUnited.com. He is also a managing editor at madeofchalk.com, a partner in the entertainment marketing firm 24West and a freelance writer. Most importantly, he is the foremost taco aficionado in New York. Check out more of his BBU contributions here
and his other work here. [/author_info] [/author]