The ascension of Odell Beckham has been a fast one. Even during a season where more rookie wide receivers than usual have proven to be major contributors, Beckham’s quick rise from first real team activities in October to putting up plays any receiver would be satisfied with during a trip to Seattle feels especially impressive. Unfortunately for Beckham and the rest of the Giants, Beckham’s performances have been one of the only aspects of the team’s recent performances that anybody could take positives from. Even Beckham has acknowledged it being bittersweet at best, saying: “It is just frustrating in general losing. No matter what you are doing, no matter whether you are having a good game or bad game, losing is never fun.”
The former LSU receiver made an impression instantly, grabbing the game-winning touchdown versus Atlanta. The Giants’ third straight win at the time, nobody would have thought the team at this point would still be looking for their next. While not technically out of the playoff race at 3-6, the especially tough nature of the NFC means the Giants could even win all of their remaining games and still not punch a ticket to postseason play. Describing the locker room attitude as “never give up,” if there was one player that could provide a real spark again in the locker room, it would appear to be him.
Indeed, Beckham is no doubt already catching eyes around the league. Arguably the highlight of the game for the Giants last Sunday was a 44-yard catch Beckham had on a “sluggo” route to beat Richard Sherman, one of the best defenders in the league. Sherman, no stranger to voicing his opinion on how much he thinks (or in the case of Michael Crabtree, how little he thinks) of a player, called Beckham a “great player.”
Beckham, unsurprisingly, was flattered: “It does mean a lot. Coming from a guy like that,” Beckham said of the praise. “Just [being able to] be on the field and battling and competing with one of the best in the league, what more could you ask for?”
It’s not just his in-game performances earning Beckham attention though. A supremely gifted athlete, Beckham won the Paul Hornung Award his final year at LSU for his versatility. That top-notch athleticism was highlighted for anyone who caught the Monday Night Football broadcast versus the Colts, as the cameras picked up Beckham during pregame showing off a series of impressive one-handed grabs and treated Giants fans to probably the only thing they enjoyed the entire broadcast.
“It’s something that I have always done,” Beckham said. “Catching the ball with one hand is something you just have to practice. The opportunity sometimes presents itself and you know you want to be prepared. That is one of those things that I have been doing for a long time.”
No matter how the Giants end this season, one thing looks clear for years to come: they have a talent worth watching in Odell Beckham.