The majority of New York Giants' fans seem pleased with the team's selection of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with the 12th overall pick Thursday night in Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft. Sixty-two percent of fans who have voted in our approval poll say they liked the pick.
Standing on my often expressed view that the weapons on the outside don't matter if your quarterback is flat on his back I had anticipated, and would have preferred, that the Giants select Zack Martin here. Picking Martin would have given the Giants two long-term building blocks on the offensive line with Martin and Justin Pugh, three if you count the 27-year-old Geoff Schwartz. With apologies to fans of Pitt's Donald I never saw him as a realistic choice for the Giants at No. 12.
That said, this was an excellent pick. The Giants -- with apologies to Reuben Randle -- needed a player who could stretch the field, run precise routes and make the difficult catch. Watch enough video and you see that Beckham Jr. can do all of those things.
In retrospect, perhaps we should have seen this coming. Giants' GM Jerry Reese has shown an affinity for drafting wide receivers over the years and with one he was obviously enamored with available we should have known Reese would grab him.
If former NFL executive Gil Brandt is right that Beckham could end up "having the best career if all the WRs in this draft" there is certainly nothing to complain about.
There is plenty of talent remaining at other positions where the Giants could still use help. Let's see what they do over the remaining two days.
Around The Inter-Google
Here are some of the reactions to the selection from around the Internet.
"I don't like it, honestly. And this is nothing against the player, who's superfast and might well turn out to be a star. This isn't about predicting how these guys will play, because we can't. It's about assessing what kind of job the team did in maximizing the value of its pick. And in a draft like this, with so much talent at wide receiver, I don't see why a wide receiver under 6 feet tall is worth the No. 12 overall pick. I think the Giants could have addressed offensive line here with Zack Martin and figured out wide receiver later on. And as you know, I think improving the overall talent level on the offensive line should have been priority No. 1."
"I might be in the minority on this pick, but I like it. He will be better than Mike Evans. They need a receiver to go with Victor Cruz." Grade: B+
"Beckham is a smooth and explosive athlete who brings a dangerous element after the catch and as a returner. He showed tremendous improvement throughout the course of last season with his release and ball skills. Beckham has been compared to former Rams WR Isaac Bruce and has the potential to develop into a strong No. 2 wideout."
[NOTE: Brinson listed Eli Manning among his draft 'winners' from Thursday night.]
"The Giants desperately needed to improve their defensive tackle position but opted to grab Odell Beckham, Jr., out of LSU instead. Beckham's a stud wide receiver and you could argue the Giants could've gone with Aaron Donald instead. I might've preferred that pick. But by snagging Beckham they set up Manning nicely for a bounce back season."
"In 2013, with first-year offensive coordinator Cam Cameron running a more expansive passing game, Beckham caught 57 passes for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns. At the scouting combine drills, I was specifically impressed with his ability among all the receivers in his group to grasp and show that he’s a complete receiver and not just a guy who runs fast in a straight line. There shouldn’t be any problem when he is asked to do the same for the Giants. This is a major win for a team in need of new weapons." Grade: A
"His mother was an All-American sprinter at LSU. His dad played football at LSU. He's got all the measurables. He's also one of best route runners in this draft. He's very advanced in terms of his route running."
"Wouldn't shock me if Beckham ends up having the best career of all WRs in this draft. Great pick for #Giants."