Rookie recap: NY Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.


Just over a year removed from his LSU playing days, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has already established himself as one of the most electric players in the NFL. 

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Former LSU wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. took the New York Giants and the rest of the NFL by storm last year with a record-setting rookie season, and he is poised to be an elite wide receiver in the league for many years to come.

Since bursting onto the scene last season Beckham has been able to launch himself into the stratosphere of being a celebrity in New York City, arguably the world’s greatest media market. From dinners with LeBron James, sitting courtside at NBA games, becoming the youngest athlete to grace the cover of Madden and several other public appearances, Beckham has not shied away from the spotlight for one moment.

Going into his sophomore campaign with the Giants, Beckham has yet to be a full participant at Giants Organized Team Activities (OTAs) or minicamps and is still dealing with a nagging hamstring injury which sidelined him for the first four games of last season. The Giants remain optimistic that Beckham will be on the field for Week 1 of the regular season when they open against the Dallas Cowboys at “Jerry World”, but the thought of Beckham going the whole preseason without wearing pads and missing out on an opportunity to develop chemistry with Manning has sparked some concern.

To gain a better insight into Beckham’s short time in the NFL, both on and off the football field, we spoke with Chris Schisler from GMEN HQ for a recap of Beckham’s stellar rookie season, his new celebrity status and what to expect from him in 2015.

Going back to Draft Day 2014, what was your initial reaction when the Giants selected Odell Beckham Jr. 12th overall? Were you optimistic with the selection, or did you believe that the front office had reached too far for what some would consider a small wide receiver?

When the Giants selected Odell Beckham Jr., I had a mixed reaction. I knew the Giants had gotten a really good player, though they had much more pressing needs. I had C.J. Mosley ranked 7th on my big board. I thought he was the best player available at the 12th selection, and he would have helped a struggling defense.

I never worried about Beckham Jr. shining with the Giants, though. It was clear that with his ability to create separation and his big catch radius that he would be a fine player. My biggest concern with Beckham Jr. was that every time I watched LSU, it was actually Jarvis Landry who grabbed my attention.

I had no idea that Beckham Jr. would become an unstoppable sensation, but I knew he was a good football player. So I was optimistic about his potential, though I thought there were better players on the board.

Before emerging as a star, Beckham missed significant time with a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for the first four games of the season. Were there a lot of concerns about his durability from fans and the local media during this time?

Well, nobody wants to see their first round pick sidelined for four games. Fans were anxious to see him play. When the Giants started the season with two losses, it became a slightly bigger deal. But then the Giants won their next three games and it was an afterthought. When the Giants were going through their seven game losing streak, Beckham Jr. became the only thing fans could cling to.

What was the first moment were you began to realize that the Giants had landed a potential star in Beckham?

Week nine against the Colts was probably the first sign. The Giants lost miserably, but Beckham Jr. racked up eight receptions for 156 yards. He followed it up with a 7-reception, 108-yard game against the Seahawks. It felt like something special was cranking up with Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning.

Of course we could not do an Odell Beckham Jr. rookie recap without discussing ‘The Catch’ on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys. How do you believe this changed the perception of him as a player? Do you think he would have dominated headlines as he has between then and now if not for that now-legendary play?

That was an amazing catch. It certainly changed everything from a media perspective. He became an unquestioned superstar. Fans became obsessed with him, as he became the one sliver of happiness the Giants had in a putrid 6-10 season. Giants fans loved him before the catch, but the national audience fell in love with Beckham Jr. that evening.

How does Beckham’s charismatic and outgoing personality mesh with with his newfound stardom, as well as with the New York media?

I think he needs to learn that more bad than good can come from a microphone in front of him. He has many believing that he is a diva. What is clear, however, is that he is a very cool guy who embraces the spotlight. I think if he just uses a bit more caution with how he comes across, the media and fans will always embrace him.

What is the biggest thing that you took away from his rookie season? 

The sky is literally the limit with Beckham Jr. He is so good, so early in his career, that it seems like he is destined for greatness. What I took away from the season is that he is a true number one receiver that can be leaned on. It also became quite clear that from a route running perspective that Beckham Jr. was as polished as a ten year pro.

Where does he fit into the Giants’ plans for the future? Is he going to be the cornerstone of the franchise for the better part of the next decade?

There is no doubt that Beckham Jr. is going to be one of the Giants’ most important players. He is already becoming the new face of the franchise. When you think Giants football, you think ODB. If the Giants are going to once again find their winning ways, Beckham Jr. will be a big part of it.

Next: LSU football: 5 players poised for a breakout season

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