With the N0. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. out of LSU. The Giants took Beckham in an effort to beef up Eli Manning‘s offensive arsenal, which had been sorely lacking.
At 5-foot-11, Beckham Jr. is a smaller receiver but he has tremendous speed and is extremely explosive in the open field. In 2013, Beckham broke LSU’s single-season all-purpose yards record, racking up 2, 315 yards. He was also a First-Team All-SEC selection. Some experts have compared him to DeSean Jackson, who the Giants know are all too familiar with.
Now, the question is: What kind of impact will the rookie receiver be able to make this season?
The answer is obviously up to Beckham and how quickly he develops through training camp, but the rookie receiver will certainly have the opportunity to be an immediate impact player for this Giants team.
Hakeem Nicks signed with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason and New York brought back Mario Manningham. That is the extent of the action thus far at wide receiver. Along with Manningham, New York has Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan.
Cruz is New York’s No.1 receiver, but at the same time he is a slot player, which means the Giants need someone to become a reliable target lined up on the outside. Randle showed some sporadic big-play ability last year but the chemistry between him and Manning was still very much a work-in-progress. The Giants will be looking for Randle to take the next step this season and become a more polished target on the outside.
However, despite his size, Beckham will have the opportunity to put his stamp on the outside as well. He should compete for the team’s third receiver slot, along with Manningham and Jernigan. As an early first-round pick the Giants will expect contributions from Beckham, and he will certainly have that chance.
The Giants also liked Beckham’s explosiveness as a return man, as he is expected to compete with Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps for returner roles. For a team that was in desperate need for another offensive weapon, it seems that the Giants may have gotten just that in Beckham.