The New York Giants entered the off season looking to upgrade its roster after a second straight non-playoff appearance, and now the team has added LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to its receiving corps at the NFL draft last night. The selection of Beckham was announced on Giants.com, the official team website, by veteran general manger Jerry Reese.
Reese had these words to say about Beckham at a press conference yesterday, "Odell Beckham, wide receiver and return specialist from LSU. It was a really good pick for us. We obviously wanted to address the wide receiver position, as well as other positions. He was the highest guy on our board, number one, and he brings a lot to the table for us. He’s a dynamic receiver, dynamic punt returner and a dynamic kickoff returner. You are getting a guy that can score touchdowns in three different ways for you. There’s no way we would pass him up."
Many analysts believed Big Blue would select another offensive lineman with their selection (12th overall), after picking Syracuse offensive tackle Justin Pugh 19th last year. But New York passed on one potential lineman, Zack Martin offensive tackle (Notre Dame), and took the speedster from LSU with their selection.
Beckham was timed at 4.38 seconds in his forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine in March; giving the Giants a legitimate deep threat on the outside. After losing wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in free agency, the Giants have now brought back Marion Manningham as a free agent and drafted Beckham in order to bolster a lackluster receiving attack. In addition, the G-men brought in Rashed Jennings at running back and expect him to be a workhorse halfback for the offense.
Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin was excited to add the talented Beckham to roster. At last night's press conference he said of Beckham, "He has great speed, he’s polished, he’s talented, he has big hands, he has played at the top of the level in college football. His head coach speaks very, very highly of him as a worker in addition, as a great example to the other receivers, so we felt like this is someone who would help us a great deal to put the ball in the end zone, be a guy that we can count on to help us score some points, be another weapon that we can utilize as a wide receiver but in addition we can certainly feature him in the kicking game as well."
The 2014 NFL draft continues tonight with the second and third round being completed, and New York will be looking to supplement its roster in a couple areas of need; tight end and defensive line. Recently, the Giants have been successful in drafting quality players in the first round, but the team has struggled in day two of the draft in acquiring front line talent; a trend that Reese hopes to change tonight.
In a pre-draft article, Michael Eisen, senior writer/editor at Giants.com, alluded to the Giants' recent failures at the draft. Eisen quoted Resse as saying, "There are different reasons why guys don’t make it. Sometimes you just miss on guys, and we’ve done that. Sometimes there are injuries as to why guys don’t pan out and some of the guys have panned out. It’s personnel and there’s nobody batting 1.000 in personnel. We sure want to do better than what we’ve done in the past, in the last few drafts, with the middle and late-round picks."