As Odell Beckham Jr. continues to become a household name around the globe, some fans continue to ignore just how other-worldly the kid has been up to this point in his NFL career. The more casual football fan may know him as the man who made the best one-handed snag we have ever seen. But die-hard football fans and experts know him as the best receiver in the history of the game through any first two seasons. Let us try to breakdown what ODB has done to both the NFL and the new generation as a whole.
Beckham has yet to play a full 16-game season as a pro. He missed the first four games of his rookie season with a hamstring injury before coming back and absolutely setting the world on fire. The guy turned 130 targets into 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns; in his first 12 games as a professional football player. Not to mention he missed most of the offseason workouts, so he and Eli were figuring out their chemistry as they went along.
Fast forward to 2015-16 and the hype was ridiculous. He entered the year still 22 years old before turning 23 on November 5th. 96 receptions, 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns later and the haters were silenced. These stats could’ve been inflated a bit had it not been for the royal rumble between ODB and Josh Norman in week 15, which resulted in Beckham being suspended for week 16. Besides missing a game and hurting his team, that fight humbled OBJ. He realized that it is bigger than him getting even and settling personal vendettas. He let down a ton of people and as a 23 year-old kid he still had/has things to figure out. Imagine being a national icon before your 23rd birthday. That sounds nice, but clearly isn’t easy.
On the field through the first two seasons, no one can say they performed better than ODB. Plus, he has missed 5 games. Through 27 games Beckham’s stats are as followed: 187 receptions, 2,755 yards, and 25 touchdowns. Think about those numbers. If we break these numbers into per game averages we get: 7.48 receptions, 110.2 yards, and 0.93 touchdowns per game. Those numbers are downright absurd, not to mention there is a genuine reason to believe he is going to continue to get better.
If those numbers don’t knock your socks off, let’s take a look at just a few of the records the kid has set within 27 NFL games.
Giants Franchise Records
Most Receiving Yards by a Rookie: 1,305
Most Receptions by a Rookie: 91
Most 100 Yard Games by a Rookie: 7
Highest Average Receiving Yards per Game for a Season: 108.8
*Note: I left out a ton of other records such as individual game records by a rookie, 125 yard games, 150 yard games, 12+ reception games, etc*
Most Receiving Yards in First Two Seasons: 2,755
Most Receptions in First Two Seasons: 187
Fastest to 150 receptions: 21 Games
Most Games with 10+ receptions as a Rookie: 4
Highest average Receiving Yards for a Rookie: 108.8
Most Receptions for a Rookie in Nov and Dec: 38, 43
*Note: I left out more single game records and records similar to ones such as only rookie with 125+ yards, 11 catches, and 1 td in 3 games, etc*
In total, OBJ owns over 30 Giants records and over 25 NFL records. I remind you he is 23 years of age, and has played in only 27 NFL games.
Beckham’s impact on pop culture and the younger generation cannot be overstated. Steph Curry’s style of play has influenced young basketball players to break away from the fundamentals and chuck up three pointers much to the chagrin of their coaches. The same can be said for OBJ. You can’t go to one youth football practice without seeing the kids having a catch trying to one-hand everything that comes their way. Even college and NFL players have begun to follow suit and implement the art of the one-hand catch into their daily training.
Besides style of play, Beckham’s personal style has greatly influenced fashion worldwide. It seems as if 1 in every 100 kids has the “Odell hairstyle,” which features a black or brown base, with blonde curls on the top. The two-tone hairstyle was influential enough to make Beckham Jr the new pitchman for Head and Shoulders. This honor was previously held by recent retiree and Steelers great, Troy Polamalu.
His popularity is clear as day after he beat out Rob Gronkowski for the EA Sports Madden Cover vote after playing in only 12 games. His talent is also clear as he took the “Madden Curse” for a 1,450 yard and 13 touchdown victory lap. ODB, aka Ol’ Dirty Beckham, was recently voted 10th on NFL Network’s Top 100 list, which is voted on by the players. The players around the league have been forced to take notice of a kid who hasn’t sniffed his prime yet, but is already considered a top-10 player in all of football.
I won’t sit here and tell you this is the next Jerry Rice or Randy Moss, being that it is far too early for that. What I will tell you is that Jerry Rice has cause for concern if he cares about being known as the GOAT. If Odell can keep his head on straight and stay healthy, his pace suggests he can go down in history as the greatest to ever do it. Those are both huge “ifs” in today’s NFL, but I speak these words in order to give you a matter of perspective on the first 27 games of this kid’s NFL career.
I advise you to not to be the guy who knows OBJ only for ‘The Catch.’ My suggestion to you is get to know the all-around dominant force that is Odell Beckham Jr. Get to know his combination of route-running precision, lateral-agility, and hand-eye coordination that will keep him as a fixture in this league for another decade at minimum. I truly hope you are able to admire this athlete, I promise they don’t make many, if any, like this guy.
First 2 Season’s Total for Julio Jones + Antonio Brown: 218 receptions, 3,432 yards, 20 touchdowns.
First 2 Season’s Total for Odell Beckham Jr: 187 receptions, 2,755 yards, 25 touchdowns.
AJ Milack | skyscrapersports.com | July 8, 2016