news / 12.17.2014 Odell Beckham Jr. now favored to win Rookie of Year
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. is so good, he might need only three-quarters of a season to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Beckham is now the favorite to win the award at 1-2, according to odds released by Bovada on Wednesday. Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is the second choice at 2-1, followed by Panthers wideout Kelvin Benjamin (7-1) and Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (25-1).
The Giants' young phenom was not available in the locker room after practice Wednesday, but veteran teammate Antrel Rolle was asked whether Beckham should win the award.
"There's no doubt about it," Rolle said. "There's been some rookies out there obviously making some splash -- Mike Evans, a couple other names. But what Odell has done in a short period of time -- obviously he battled some injuries at the beginning of the year, but the sky's the limit for this guy. I think what he's done for this team and just for the league itself has been phenomenal, and I'm not just saying that because he's my teammate."
"Rookie of the Year, Pro Bowl, you name it -- I definitely put him up there right now with the elite receivers in this league," Rolle added.
Despite missing the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season with a hamstring injury, Beckham has 71 catches for 972 yards and nine touchdowns in 10 games.
Evans, in three more games, has fewer catches (59) and yards (948), and just two more touchdowns (11).
Beckham's per-game averages of 7.1 receptions, 97.2 receiving yards and 0.9 touchdowns are the highest among rookies in a season dating to 2001, per ESPN Stats & Information.
"He's been playing at a high level these last few weeks," quarterback Eli Manning said. "Hopefully he can continue to make plays for us."
Manning was a little more diplomatic when asked about Beckham's Rookie of the Year candidacy.
"I haven’t seen all the other performances, so I’m probably not qualified to give that answer," Manning said. "[Beckham's] played very strong and played well for us, and so definitely should be in contention, I would think."
Beckham already owns the Giants' record for receiving yards by a rookie, breaking Jeremy Shockey's record of 894 yards. Barring injury, he almost certainly will surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season this Sunday in St. Louis, but the Rams' defense should pose a challenge -- they haven't given up a touchdown the past three weeks and are ranked 10th in the NFL against the pass (232.4 yards allowed per game).
"I think there’s a physical challenge every week for the number of roles that [Beckham] plays," coach Tom Coughlin said. "But this certainly will be one, and each week he grows and develops and he sees new things, and that may very well be the case this week."
The best news of all might be that, despite all the attention Beckham is getting, he hasn't developed a swelled head, according to his quarterback.
"No, I think he’s done a good job," Manning said. "He practices hard. He does a lot of things correctly. ... He’s done everything the right way."
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com | December 17th, 2014