The New York Giants selected LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Thursday night with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Entering the first round the Giants seemed to have several options for the first round pick and had even floated the idea that they would be willing to take Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel if he were available when they were on the clock.
Several players thought to be potential targets for the Giants went off the board before the Giants picked at No. 12. Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans went No. 7 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The next pick that may have impacted the Giants plans was North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron going to the Detroit Lions at No. 10. The Tennessee Titans selected Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan with the 11th pick right in front of the Giants.
The selection of the 5-foot-11, 198-pound Beckham Jr. gives the Giants a player they hope will replace Hakeem Nicks. Beckham Jr. joins former LSU star Rueben Randle, Victor Cruz and Jerrel Jernigan as targets for quarterback Eli Manning.
SB Nation's LSU blog, And The Valley Shook, did a pre-draft scouting report on Beckham Jr.:
"Beckham is incredibly polished as a receiver, and should adapt to the pro game very quickly. He'll probably be best as a complimentary target that can focus on the things he does well, similar to players like DeSean Jackson, Mike Wallace or Santonio Holmes. But he has the hands and length of a much taller player and that will serve him well against bigger pro corners, especially in the redzone. His skills as a return man provide another asset."
How did Big Blue View staffers do in guessing the pick? Ed selected Taylor Lewan in the Big Blue View Community Mock Draft. In their final mock drafts, Jesse gave the Giants Beckham Jr., the choice by 'Invictus' was Zack Martin and 'Raptor' selected Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans.
See all of the first-round picks in the Big Blue View first-round live blog.
Connor Hughes has the fan reaction via social media and a poll where you can vote on whether or not you like the pick.
GM Jerry Reese said Beckham Jr. has "a terrific skill set" and is "almost pro ready." Reese indicated the Giants are also attracted to what they see as Beckham Jr.'s excellent return skills.
Jerry Reese: "This guy's a weapon. (Eli Manning) needs a weapon on the outside."— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) May 9, 2014
More Reese on Odell Beckham: "This guy is a lump-in-your-throat kind of kick and punt returner. If he gets some blocks, he can go."— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) May 9, 2014
"Speed kills" Reese said about Odell Beckham. "This was an easy pick for us." #nyg— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) May 9, 2014
Here is a quick reaction from Giants coach Tom Coughlin:
Coughlin on Beckham: "He's polished. He's talented. He has big hands." #NYG— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 9, 2014
"We think he's a dynamic playmaker in a variety of ways," said Giants Director of Player Evaluation Marc Ross.
Beckham Jr. called being with the Giants "a perfect situation."
Odell: "I definitely think I can come in and if I get the oppty to play I can bring a lot of things." #ndnfl— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) May 9, 2014
In his prospect profile of Beckham Jr., 'Invictus' wrote that the LSU wide receiver is "very similar" to Nicks:
Beckham Jr., is a bit smaller and a bit faster than Nicks is, but he'd fill the same purpose. His route running is good, if not as polished as some other receivers, but he can become a very strong possession receiver capable of consistently winning his one on one battles outside. That's something the Giants desperately missed this past year.
Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking The Draft had this reaction to the pick:
"Considering the various choice the Giants had in the first round, they really couldn't have gone wrong. The choice of Beckham makes a lot of sense if they want another receiver who can do many of the same things that Victor Cruz does," Kadar said. "That's not to say it's a bad pick, though. Beckahm is a speed receiver who can open up the defense deep, just like Cruz. That gives Eli Manning another deep option, and a player who can work screens and even some gadget plays."
The draft continues on Friday with the second and third rounds. The Giants have the 43rd overall pick (Round 2) and the 74th overall pick (Round 3). Be sure to stay with us for more coverage of tonight's first round, as well as complete coverage of Day 2 of the draft on Friday.
Your thoughts, Giants' fans?