“Will Odell Beckham Jr. turn into a productive NFL receiver?” is no longer a question that fans of the New York Giants have to ask themselves. The rookie out of LSU broke out for 156 yards against the Colts in just his fourth NFL game and has not failed to reach 90 receiving yards in a game since then.
If not for a hamstring injury that held him out until Week 5, Beckham would have a shot at breaking the rookie receptions and receiving yards records held by Anquan Boldin from his marvelous 2003 debut.
“He has been playing at a high level these last few weeks,” said Giants quarterback Eli Manning, “So hopefully he can continue to make plays for us and our offense can score points and move the ball. We are not going to try and force records for him, but if we have good matchups, then we will keep getting him the ball.” Despite the late start to his season, Beckham still stands a great chance to be named Rookie of the Year. He’s already surpassed fellow newcomers Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin in receptions and receiving yards. With a few more touchdown catches, voters will have no choice but to name Beckham as the league’s top rookie.
“I haven’t seen all the other performances, so I am probably not qualified to give that answer,” said Manning when asked about the Rookie of the Year, “[Beckham] has played very strong and played well for us. He definitely should be in contention, I would think.”
With Beckham, Benjamin, and Evans all putting up sterling performances, the Rookie of the Year will almost certainly go to a wide receiver this season. Cincinnati tailback Jeremy Hill has been great since breaking out from Giovanni Bernard’s shadow, but he needs to finish strong in order to catch up to the wide receiver trio in yards and touchdowns.
A shiny award for Beckham would be a nice consolation prize for fans that were hoping to see the Giants return to the playoffs this season, but the most important thing for Beckham is to continue to help his team win like he has during the past two weeks.
“You keep challenging him with things he can improve on,” said Manning, “Keep making sure you move him in different spots on different routes and understand that there is room to improve on. There is definitely room to get better and improve on and we can do that.”