On Wednesday, the top 10 players in the NFL as voted by the players themselves were shown on NFL Network. New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was voted as the 10th best overall player in the NFL. This caused a variety of reactions, as there are as many opinions on Beckham as there are on any player in the league.
Most interestingly, Beckham himself was upset he was only ranked number 10. At around 3 AM, Beckham took to social media to post a video of him working out saying how appalled he was by only being rated number 10. Giants’ fans loved this reaction, as they were excited to see how high Beckham’s expectations are. Most fans around the NFL, however, thought Beckham’s reaction was ridiculous and even added their own opinion by saying Beckham was lucky to be rated as high as 10.
After one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history, Beckham had an excellent sophomore season racking up 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns while missing a game.
It is a heavy debate as to whether Beckham was ranked too high, too low, or in the right spot. Any non-biased analyst should tell you that Beckham was ranked near the right spot, but could have and should have easily been ranked a few positions higher.
First of all, Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, the two receivers ahead of Beckham, definitely deserved to be ranked ahead of him. Both receivers put up extraordinary numbers last year, and at the end of the day, this list in ranking the top players from just 2015. Jones nearly broke the single-season receiving record by posting 1,871 yards. Brown fell just short of the record as well by posting 1,834 yards. Though Beckham only posted 1,450 yards, he did have more touchdown receptions than Brown and Jones. Though Beckham did play one less game than Brown and Jones, the differential in yardage elevates both Brown and Jones to a higher rank than Beckham.
"That means I need to work harder," noted Beckham. "At the end of the day, these are the best players in the NFL, it's the best of the best. And I look at the list, and it's hard for me to say, 'Put me in front of him, or move me here.'"
However, this is a list ranking every player in the NFL, so although the other two receivers may be higher ranked than Beckham, there are other players ranked higher than Beckham that definitely should not have been.
To start off, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was ranked three spots ahead of Beckham, but should definitely have been lower than Beckham. Kuechly did miss two less games than Beckham, but his stats compared to other linebackers were nowhere near Beckham’s stats compared to other recievers. Kuechly had the 13th most tackles among linebackers and the 92nd most sacks among linebackers. Now, Kuechly is a fantastic player, but considering these stats, he should not have been ahead of Beckham.
Next New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was ranked one spot ahead of Beckham, should have also been ranked lower. With Julian Edelman being out for a good portion of the regular season, Gronkowski was easily Brady’s number one target, yet, he had 300 less yards and 2 less touchdowns than Beckham. Though receivers do tend to have more yards and touchdowns than tight ends, the differential between Gronkowski and Beckham is too much to not have Beckham ranked ahead.
The final player who should have been ranked lower than Beckham is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers played every game of the regular season and only managed to compile 3,821 yards and 31 touchdowns. Compared to other quarterbacks, especially Beckham’s quarterback Eli Manning, who was ranked much lower than Rodgers, his stats do not prove to have him deserving of the number 4 ranking. Rodgers was missing his best receiver in Jordy Nelson, but these stats do not deserve to be ahead of Beckham’s stats.
At the end of the day, assuming Beckham should be ahead of Rodgers, Gronkowski and Kuechly, he would be ranked number 7 on the list. Beckham should place expectations of being ranked in the top 5 this upcoming season as he is entering his prime and many of the players ahead of him are exiting their primes. The Giants should definitely expect a top 5 player in Beckham this upcoming season, and Beckham should be expecting a top 5 player in himself.