The New York Giants have a player who’s undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the entire NFL. The problem? He doesn’t seem to get the ball nearly enough to be considered a “consistent” elite wideout. Odell Beckham Jr. is on the elite level in terms of pure talent, but the consistency issues are what keep him from being the literal best receiver in the entire NFL.
When looking at the top-five in the NFL in terms of receiving yards, Beckham’s name doesn’t make the list. As a matter-of-fact, he’s nearly 40 yards out from the No. 5 spot. Whether you want to blame that on him, quarterback play, defenses loading up for him, or whatever reason, it’s not exactly acceptable for a player as talented as him.
What we do know about Beckham, is that when he dominates, he really dominates.
In the past five weeks alone, Beckham has scored all six of his touchdowns, including two multi-touchdown games. He also tallied 222 receiving yards against the Baltimore Ravens. It’s not a big surprise that during that five-game stretch where Beckham has been strong, that the Giants have gone 4-1. When OBJ goes, the Giants seem to go as well.
There’s little to no question that when Beckham finds his stride and really clicks with Manning that he not only qualifies as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, but he may actually be the very best. It’s hard to ignore Beckham’s rookie and sophomore seasons, in which he topped 1,300 receiving yards in both years, while also catching 187 receptions and 25 touchdowns as well. Those types of numbers are scary for opponents and are why many people consider him to be in the same conversation with players such as Antonio Brown and Julio Jones.
So while we know how talented Beckham is, the question becomes — what’s the problem? Why is Beckham not as reliable and consistent as those other names above? Over the first two seasons of his career, it’s safe to say that it comes down to the targets.
In 2015, Beckham saw 159 targets, while Jones finished with 204 targets and Brown received 195 looks. In 2014, Brown got 182 targets while Jones saw 164, both of which were quite a bit higher than the 132 from Beckham. So in turn, maybe the issue of inconsistency isn’t so much about the wide receiver himself but is instead about the game planning and the fact that Manning won’t do anything in his power to get the ball to his star.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger are both consistently looking for their stud receivers. In turn, it results in more catches, bigger games, more touchdowns and overall just more opportunity. Unfortunately, Beckham isn’t being given those same chances, but realistically if he was, it would make him one of the scariest players in the entire league.
If Ben McAdoo and Eli Manning want a game plan for the remainder of the 2016 NFL season, it should probably focus on finding any and every way possible to get the ball into the third-year receiver’s hands.
Jeff Smith | fanragsports.com | November 18, 2016