Odell Beckham Jr. has been joining some elite company in his young career and naturally players and coaches are drawing comparisons to a few former NFL greats.
In a conference call with Giants reporters, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera offered some high praise for the second year superstar.
“Well, Julio Jones is right up there, but watching what he’s done in his first two season is tremendous,” Rivera told The Giants Beat. “He really has an opportunity, I think, to be one of those guys you’ll talk about. He and Jerry Rice. I’ve had the great fortune of watching Jerry Rice, and, man, I see a lot of flashes. I played against Jerry as well, and I see a lot of flashes in Odell’s game, and I just think he’s a tremendous football player.”
Beckham was asked during Thursday’s media session whether he modeled his game after the 49ers’ Hall of Famer, but the Giants wideout admitted that he’s emulated his game after a number of talented wideouts.
“I used to watch Larry Fitzgerald and how he would go up and attack the ball,” admitted Beckham. “I’d watch Megatron and how he goes up and attacks the ball. I’d watch how DeSean Jackson gets open downfield and uses his speed. I’d watch how Vic uses his quickness and I would literally try to take everybody’s strength and try and combine it into my own game and use it. I’d take a lot of the things that they did and make it my own craft.”
Beckham currently leads all receivers in Pro Bowl balloting and is widely regarded as the most explosive player in the entire NFL. When told about Rivera comparing his game to Rice’s, Beckham mentioned that he views the iconic receiver as a mentor.
“I’ve talked to him, but I haven’t a chance to meet him in person,” Beckham told reporters about his relationship with Rice. “A great guy. A guy that would give me tips whenever he felt he needs to. He’s just making sure he looks out like a big brother. He wants to see receivers in general succeed.”