With all of the records he has set and honors he has received, you can make an argument that perhaps no one in NFL history has had a better first three seasons than Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has recognized Beckham’s accomplishments by naming him the best player in the league under the age of 25. Beckham is just 24.
Beckham's 262 receptions for 3,770 yards and 33 touchdowns place him in elite company through the first three seasons of a career -- even though Beckham has missed five games and still has four to play this season. Since 2001, only Jarvis Landry has more receptions (268) through three seasons. Only A.J. Green has more receiving yards (3,833). Only Rob Gronkowski has more receiving TDs (34).
The Giants placed a second player on Kiper’s list of the the best 25 players under the age of 25. Safety Landon Collins, who is 22, came in at No. 22.
The Giants invested heavily in their defensive front in free agency, but an improved secondary has arguably played a bigger role in New York's turnaround on defense. Collins' improvement from a shaky rookie season has been part of that equation. Collins' three picks in November helped him become the NFC's defensive player of the month.
The Giants have several other players under 25 playing key roles. Those include Eli Apple (21), Ereck Flowers (22), Bobby Hart (22), Sterling Shepard (23) and Johnathan Hankins (24). That bodes well for their future.
Ed Valentine | bigblueview.com | December 8, 2016