Giants Take LSU’s Beckham in 1st Round of Draft
The Giants got what they wanted with the 12th overall pick of the NFL draft — some help on offense.
The Giants selected wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. of LSU on Thursday night.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better for me,” Beckham said in a conference call from the Giants’ practice facility. “It’s a perfect situation. I’m still trying to get everything in check. It’s really an overwhelming experience being a member of the New York Giants.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was pleased to get such a talented offensive weapon.
“We’re excited,” Coughlin said. “We favored him all along and got a great impression of him at the combine in Indianapolis. He has great speed. He’s polished. He has great hands and played at the top level. He’s someone we could count on putting the ball in the end zone and we can also feature him in the kicking game as well.”
Coughlin said that he thought the first 11 picks of the draft went according to form.
“For the most part, it went the way we thought it would,” Coughlin said. “So when we had the opportunity to pick Beckham, we did it. He has the ability to make the big play. He’s a crafty route runner.”
Coughlin said that getting offensive help “was a priority.”
“We wanted to put ourselves in the position to be a high scoring team again,” Coughlin said. “I think you can take that position and they all better be able to contribute right away.”
Beckham’s stock rose during the week before the draft. The 5-foot-11, 198-pound Beckham was the Paul Hornung Award winner for being the nation’s most versatile player, breaking the school record for all-purpose yards (2,315) and caught 59 passes at wide receiver.
A talented return man, Beckham returned 68 career punts for 557 yards and two touchdowns and had 42 kickoff returns for 1,044 yards.
“I look forward to returning punts,” Beckham said. “It’s what I love doing most.”
Beckham played at Isidore Newman H.S. in Louisiana, the same one attended by Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
“I remember walking through the school and seeing his jersey hanging on the wall,” Beckham said. “It was motivation to me. I threw with him a couple of times, so I know what he has to offer.”
Beckham became attractive to the Giants after the team failed to re-sign former first-round draft pick Hakeem Nicks in the offseason. Nicks eventually signed a one-year deal with Indianapolis.
Beckham comes from a family of speed burners. His father, Odell Sr. was a running back at LSU from 1989-92 and his mother, Heather Van Norman, was an All-American in track and field, also at LSU.
“I don’t want to get either of them mad,” Beckham said. “I’d say I get my talents from both of them, 50-50.”
Beckham is known for his quick hands and quick feet. He is blessed with very good leaping ability and gets a lot of yards after the catch. He has three years’ experience playing in the tough Southeastern Conference.
Beckham will join Rueben Randle as former LSU receivers on the Giants’ roster.
“That’s my big brother,” Beckham said. “He taught me the ropes when I came to LSU and now I get to work with him again. I had no idea I was going to get taken by the Giants. I hadn’t heard much from them, so I had no idea they were that interested. It’s all been a blur to me.”
The only downside to Beckham is his size, but his ability to go after the ball should more than compensate for the lack of height.
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