It wouldn't be Big Blue View without an Odell Beckham thread every so often, right, New York Giants fans? Hey, don't blame me, blame him! He just keeps giving us reasons to write about him, even long after he's played his last snap of his rookie year.
This is about the time where the 2014 NFL regular season honors and awards are handed out. Odell Beckham in his short stay as a New York Giants has already accumulated:
- NFL Rookie of the Week (four times)
- NFL Rooke of the Month (two times)
- A Pro Bowl roster spot
That doesn't mention that he also got an All Pro vote at a loaded position (I might be reaching on that one, but hey, it's pretty good!), or the fact that he probably wins an ESPY for the play of the year and gets voted as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. The honor that we're going to talk about isn't really comparable to the mainstream awards as noted above, but it comes from a source that we (and many others) use quite regularly and holds a good amount of weight. That is, of course, Pro Football Focus.
PFF recently named their Offensive, Defensive, and overall Rookies of the year. Taking a cursory glance at DROY, we notice that Devon Kennard was not a nominee, but with the candidates as such:
5) Anthony Barr, LB Vikings
4) CJ Mosley, LB Ravens
3) Chris Borland, LB 49ers
2) Khalil Mack, LB Raiders
1) Aaron Donald, DT Rams
It's pretty easy to see why Kennard wasn't exactly "snubbed." So let's move on to OROY:
5) Mike Evans, WR Buccaneers
4) Teddy Bridgewater, QB Vikings
3) Zack Martin, OG Cowboys
2) Joel Bitonio, OG Browns
1) Odell Beckham Jr, WR Giants
A no-brainer. With four games missed, Odell Beckham had +20.4 receiving grade, good for second-best in the entire NFL. He AVERAGED seven catches on 9.5 targets, 108 yards and a TD per game. That's insane. All of this you guys probably knew, but heck, I'm not apologizing for repeating it because it is just that awesome. To think he did all of this without the benefit of training camp makes it even more mind blowing.
Zack Martin and Joel Bitonio were All-Pro caliber guards for their respective teams and key cogs in the offense. I don't think there's any way that anybody can convince me that they had the impact that Odell Beckham had for the Giants. Not only from a tangible perspective, but he completely rejuvenated the team. Lit a fire and all that other jazz.
Moving on to the overall rankings for Rookie of the Year:
5) Zack Martin
4) Khalil Mack
3) Joel Bitonio
2) Aaron Donald
....Drum roll please.....
1) Odell Beckham Jr.
Again, a no brainer. Here's what PFF had to say about the electrifying rookie (you can read all of PFF's excellent awards season coverage by clicking right HERE)
It feels like Odell Beckham Jr. was destined for great recognition the moment he hauled in that catch on Sunday Night Football against the Cowboys, but in truth he had been impressing long before then.
As the season wore on his workload only increased as the Giants leaned on him ever more. His first game saw just five passes sent his way, with only 15 from his first three games in total. Over the next nine games he averaged 12.7 targets and the final game of the year against the Eagles saw the ball come his way 21 times.
But what makes him special? You often hear about guys playing bigger than they are. If you want to get a great look at what people mean when they say that watch Beckham play. He is listed at 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds, but he plays like a guy who is 6-foot-3. He never allows the ball come to him, rather attacking it no matter what route he is running, snatching the ball out of the air at the highest point he can reach with his ridiculous hands.
This is key because is minimizes the chance a defensive back has to make a play on the ball. The reason 6-foot-3 guys are desirable as receiver targets is because their catch radius is so big, but Beckham’s is as large as anybody’s because of the way he attacks the ball. Throw in impressively subtle route running and the kind of ball skills that he showed in that Cowboys game, or the countless videos of his warm-up catches that went viral soon after, and you have the most devastating rookie receiver performance since Randy Moss.
You’ve also got PFF’s Rookie of the Year.
Aptly put. Time to do the Whip.