Beckham has become one of the most recognizable faces in the league after just two seasons in the NFL. He has accomplished so much and it’s only the beginning of his career. He was awarded Rookie of the Year, selected to 2 Pro Bowls, and had a one-handed catch that served as a phone wallpaper for half of New York City. He finished last season with 96 receptions for 1,450 yards with 13 TDs. This is his first offseason without any injury related issues so he is able to go into camp with an aggressive mentality. Everyone is anticipating a crazy performance from the leading WR this season.
Aside from OBJ, the expectations of the other wide receivers are a bit unclear. Cruz’s return leaves people wondering whether he can still be an impact player after an injury that forced him to miss two seasons. Cruz is not looking to ease into the season, but is instead going in with full force, ready to regain his star persona on the field.
“I’m not in the business to go out there and be half of myself or half of what I was,” Cruz said. “I want to go out there and be ready to go 100 percent and be the player that I once was. That’s the goal and I want to build up to that.”
He is determined and ready for post season intensity, as one of the key contributors that helped earn the Giants a title in 2012.
On the other side of the dice is Shepard, the draft pick who is constantly compared to Cruz. The 5-foot-10, 194 pound rookie will be expected to make a big impact this season. His speed and ability to run routes caught the attention of McAdoo early and now he is gelling naturally with the offense. He has not played a game in the NFL yet, but OBJ has already predicted that he will win Rookie of the Year. Shepard has great potential and his teammates have confidence that he will live up to it.
There is still that risk factor because no one knows if Cruz is able to play with the same abilities he had prior to the injury and Shepard has not proved himself yet. However, the Giants have all the components for a great trio of receivers: the young star, the experienced leader, and the rookie with potential.