In what is being called one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, there have already been many questionable picks in the first round; Blake Bortels number three overall to the Jaguars, the Browns trading up for cornerback Justin Gilbert, and Anthony Barr to the Vikings, a talented outside linebacker but not for number nine overall. Then there were the expected picks like offensive lineman Greg Robinson going number two overall to the Rams and wide receiver Mike Evans to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Blue Blitz was surprised when the New York Giants decided to go against what they normally do (picking the top player on their draft board), but they filled a very necessary hole when they selected wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round.
The Giants had a very down season last year and there were many holes to fill. During free agency, they were able to address many of the holes, but the glaring areas that still needed to be addressed were offensive lineman, tight end, defensive line and an extra wide receiver. Eric Ebron was already selected, which was their target tight end and most thought that Zack Martin, offensive lineman out of Notre Dame, was a basic lock. But the Giants felt Eli Manning would be better off to have an extra weapon to throw to and address the line later in the draft.
Odell Beckham is considered the number two-A receiver in the draft with Mike Evans (Sammy Watkins was the consensus number one receiver) and for the Giants, he was too good to pass up. Hakeem Nicks is gone and was only a shell of his former self in 2013. Victor Cruz was either hurt or being double teamed and Reuben Randle is still adjusting to the game, but made big strides. The Giants needed to get that third wide receiving threat that Eli likes so much and they took care of that first and foremost. At only five feet, eleven inches, Beckham is not the biggest receiver, but he is fast and has extraordinarily strong hands. He does not have the speed of Cruz or Randle, but he can run all the underneath routes and cause some damage. There were other options out there that may have been higher on their board, but the New York Giants surprised the Blue Blitz and went with their gut, selecting Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round as the number 12 overall pick.
Aaron Donald, a defensive tackle out of Pittsburgh, was still on the board and was the Giant’s top targeted defensive lineman pick, but the team in the end felt that they have enough talent in house to pair with JPP. It is still a little surprising that they decided to go with Beckham Jr. He is a very good wide receiver and will turn into a talented player for the Giants, there is no doubt, but this is a deep wide receiver draft, they could have addressed that hole in the second or even third round and been fine; Cruz should be healthy this year and Randle operates better as the WR2 than the WR3. There are not many offensive lineman in this draft and Martin was considered one of the best out there, which is why it is surprising they passed on him.
In the end, the New York Giants decided that points were more important, which is true considering they were 28th in the league in both offensive yards and points scored. The pick means that Jerry Reese may have to pull a few rabbits out of his hat in the later rounds and hope to find an offensive lineman that can start week one. This was by no means a bad pick, just a questionable one, since wide receiver was the third most important issue for the Giants to address. Regardless, the New York Giants selecting Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round sets up their wide receiving core for years to come, creating a formidable three-headed monster, and may give Eli reason to play a few extra seasons; it will also give the Blue Blitz plenty to write about.
Commentary by Chris Dragicevich