Among the many changes to the New York Giants roster this offseason, the team will enter the 2014 season with a brand new starting wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr., their first-round draft pick. Of course, this is assuming he wins the role.
It was hardly a surprise when Hakeem Nicks signed elsewhere but it did leave the Giants with work to be done on offense. The Giants spent much of free agency adding to their secondary and beefing up a few positions here and there. However, even after a flurry of activity, New York was still lacking weapons for Eli Manning.
Basically, Nicks was substituted with Beckham. Beckham and Nicks may both be playmakers but they are also different types of receivers.
On the one hand, Nicks is a physical receiver, who has the speed to make defenders miss out in space, but also has the athleticism to get up and make a play on jump balls. Of course, this was Nicks in his prime because we saw very little offensive ability last season.
Now Beckham is another story. At just 5-foot-11, Beckham will likely not be winning very many jump balls. However, the Giants love his speed and explosiveness in the open field. Although he plays on the outside as opposed to the slot, Beckham uses his quickness to draw separation. Some experts have likened his ability to that of DeSean Jackson.
With Beckham and Victor Cruz, New York now has a wide receiving corps built on speed and playmaking ability, instead of size and strength. The Giants still have Rueben Randle, who is a more prototypical wide receiver at 6-foot-2. However, with more speed along the outside, look for a lot of yards to be gained after the catch this season.