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Bill Polian Likes Giants’ Pick of Odell Beckham; Says He’s Major Upgrade Over Hakeem Nicks

May 9th, 2014 at 12:55 PM
By Doug Rush

After months of speculation and wondering what the New York Giants would do with their number 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, they decided to give Eli Manning a replacement for Hakeem Nicks and a deep threat weapon with LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham has drawn comparisons to players like DeSean Jackson (minus the bad attitude), Antonio Brown and Greg Jennings because of his tremendous speed and big-play ability, things that Nicks no longer gave the Giants and in reality, hurt the Giants ability to make plays and score in 2012 and 2013, which is why now, Nicks is a member of the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year deal instead of with the Giants on a long-term deal.

While some fans weren't thrilled with the pick of Beckham because Notre Dame's Zack Martin was available to be picked (he fell to the Dallas Cowboys,) a lot of people around football absolutely loved the pick of Beckham for the Giants, one of which was former Indianapolis Colts general manager and now ESPN analyst Bill Polian, who said the pick of Beckham was not only a great pick for the Giants, but a major upgrade over Nicks.

"The Giants get a replacement for Hakeem Nicks in Odell Beckham and in reality, it's a pretty big upgrade. Beckham has great speed on the stopwatch and great play speed on the field. More importantly, he's got terrific separation skills. He can get to the top of the route and instantly separate; he's also strong enough to beat press coverage. Those are things that Nicks could no longer do at this stage of his career. Beckham went to the same high school as Eli Manning and they'll team up again in New York. With this pick, they solve a very big piece of the puzzle."

Beckham is very good friends with another LSU alum and now Giants teammate Rueben Randle and was informed this week by Randle that the Giants were heavily considering taking him with the 12th pick if he was there. Last year for LSU, Beckham had 57 catches for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns.

Also…

Tags: Bill Polian, DeSean Jackson, Eli Manning, Football, Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle, Zack Martin

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106 Responses to “Bill Polian Likes Giants’ Pick of Odell Beckham; Says He’s Major Upgrade Over Hakeem Nicks”

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  1.  norm says:

    A coupla thoughts:

    Clearly, Giants fans remain deep in the throes of the PTSD brought on by watching last year’s O-line. The desire for a quick fix in that unit is completely understandable. The FO, however, has to take a longer, broader view. For all we know, young interior lineman already in house, i.e. Mosley and Goodin – who had nothing to do with last year’s debacle – may figure prominently in the team’s plans. If the coaches and FO believe the young guys are ready to step up and contribute this year, it may obviate their need or desire to spend a Day 2 pick on an interior lineman.

    The point made earlier re: ODB’s fit for McAdoo’s offense is well taken. I would only add the following reminder: “Killdrive is gone; he can’t hurt us anymore.” Gone with him are the long developing option routes that required Eli to hold the ball for three seconds behind linemen who could not hold their pass blocks for more than two. Even if the O-line turns out to be less than stellar in 2014, the coaches and FO may believe it’s good enough to succeed in the context of Mac’s quick hitter offense with playmakers such as Cruz, ODB, Randle, Mario, and Jernigan.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to see reinforcements for the O-line brought in today. I just have my doubts that the Giants braintrust shares the fanbase’s sense of urgency there. It would not surprise me if Reese passes on an O-lineman to take someone at another position ranked higher on his sacrosanct board. Don’t shoot me; I’m just the messenger.

    •  BillyS says:

      I still think they view OL as important, but I think they used a combination of best player available and need. It really looks like ODB and Martin were the ones they were choosing between and in the end they chose ODB because he represented the most value at that spot. There will be some value picks in the 2nd round, but the drop off between the ODB and the next rated WR is a lot more than Martin and an OL, in my opinion.

      I feel that the next 2 rounds will focus on OL and DL. I kind of like the idea of getting Kony or Tuitt because they look like they could switch back and forth between DE and DT (especially Tuitt). But on the other hand there are some prime OL guys like Xavier Su’a-Filo, whom I absolutely LOVE (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — he’s going to be a Pro-Bowler).

    •  Begiant says:

      I completely agree. I am actually getting ready to see a top G and TE on the board and then us taking a player like Lawrence or Attaochu.

  2.  Begiant says:

    Maybe a major upgrade over what we got from Nicks last year.

  3.  skinnydoogan says:

    “Killdrive is gone; he can’t hurt us anymore.

    Very well put.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      That may just be the single best summary I have read on here in a long time.

  4.  BBWC says:

    I’m sold on the Odell Beckham pick. The more I think about it, he’s the perfect fit for an up-tempo style offense…better than Evans. When the Giants go into their new “up-tempo attacking style offense” that McAdoo promised, it’s going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses.This group of WR’s that we currently have, now that we added Beckham and Manningham, could potentially be the best that we’ve ever had. In the past, Eli was always at his best when the Giants offense picked up the pace (went into the two minute offense). I think Eli will benefit both from the new up-tempo system and the addition of Odell. Cruz will also benefit, as he was always at his best when Nicks was on the field and healthy. Think about it, a combination of Beckham, Cruz, Randle, Manningham, JJ… Jennings or Wilson in the backfield coming at you at a rapid pace…wow! All we need now is blocking upfront to keep the pressure off Eli and throw in a serviceable TE and we’ll be good to go.

    •  Begiant says:

      The Giants needed another good receiver and we are trying to get one in Beckham. He can return punts and kicks, which could provide value if Holliday doesn’t make the roster or in the future. I don’t know if it is fair to say he is better than Evans, but he does sound like a complete receiver, so I am also optimistic about him. I would say OL, TE, and DT are our biggest needs. a S, LB or DE would provide some future value and depth.

  5.  TroyThorne says:

    A couple of my thoughts:

    - There are still some good OL left on the board that could come in and help us out (most of the top centers and guards are still available actually). Traditionally you can find quality interior linemen in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and this year is no different. No, that’s NOT what we’ve done in the past btw. We’ve drafted a lot of OL in the 4th+ rounds as projects we hope blossom (as is the case for essentially EVERY player, regardless of position, drafted in those later rounds).

    - Trading up in a draft this deep probably would have been a mistake. We have a lot of holes to fill and there’s talent abound. Also, the yearly draft reminder that two teams have to actually agree to a trade for it to work. You can’t just make a phone call and tell a team you’re swapping places.

    - We signed a lot of OL in FA with the hopes that one of them sticks. Schwartz is a monster and locks down one of the guard spots. Pugh is a good young player who can lock down RT (or maybe swing inside). John Jerry is an average starter at guard which is perfectly fine. He’s a step above Boothe. That’s 3/5 of our OL that is in decent shape already. If Walton can become a good player again that’s a bonus. Add a rookie into the equation as insurance and we’re fine. Remember not every single member of the OL has to be elite. We’ve won Super Bowls with David Diehl and Kevin Boothe on the line. Speaking of…

    - Re: Beatty, I don’t see the Giants quitting on him as quickly as fans have. I feel like he’s been a bit of a scapegoat here. Yes, he was awful last season but so was nearly everyone else. Also, David Diehl was an atrocious LT since taking over the spot years ago. Fans will undoubtedly pretend like he wasn’t or view the past with rose colored shades and say he only “fell off” towards the end but the fact is the guy was giving up more sacks than nearly any other OL (league-wide) during that time. He was a bottom 3 starting OL in the NFL and we stuck by him forever. I’m not saying we’ll do the same with Beatty (because we won’t) but they’ll give him another chance, even if he’s on a short leash.

  6.  TroyThorne says:

    Oh and the idea that you need one big WR and one small, shifty WR to “round out” a receiving corps is nonsense. You just need good players. Period.

    •  kujo says:

      This.

      We have 3 guys who can flat out TORCH a defense, speedwise. We also have Ruben Randle, who, despite having a disappointing sophomore campaign, has all of the physical tools necessary to be a downfield threat as well as the venerated “redzone target” we all wanted in Evans and Ebron. Finally, we have Mario Manningham, a wily veteran who knows how to find the creases and who’s star isn’t burnt out just yet.

      Add a quality TE and we’re in business, provided we have the OL to sustain it.

    •  BBWC says:

      I agree… for an up-tempo offense I’d rather have a guy that’s shifty, explosive, and most of all has good stamina… Odell fits that profile better than Evans.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    norm’s still smarting over Reese’s failure to grab a pass rusher. So he has turned his attention to why we won’t pick an offensive lineman. He’s wrong, but as always, I love reading his posts and am very glad he’s feeling well enough now to write them.

    Anyone who thinks Reese thinks we’ve “solved” our offensive line issues in free agency is out of his mind. And just in case Reese has also lost his marbles, John Mara will be quick to focus everyone on the problem. You build a great team around your core, as I’ve been saying for years. That’s quarterback, offensive line and defensive line. And to have a good offensive line they have to work together for years. Except for Schwartz, the players brought in this off-season for the offensive line are short-term solutions. What we have for the long run are Schwartz, Pugh and perhaps one of Mosley (more likely) and Goodin (less likely). Beatty is, IMO, a very long shot as a long-term solution but he might stick as good depth or shock me this season by proving that last year was a giant anomaly (which I sincerely doubt). That’s probably three players out of the six we need to grow together (who will be supplemented with another two every year or two as needed). We need three more young players (two at an absolute minimum) to get that group that will learn the dance together. Two of them have to come out of this year’s draft.

  8.  kujo says:

    Norm,

    I think the words of a buddy of mine who served 3 tours in Iraq (2 in Fallujah) as a corpsman speak to your assertion about Giants fans having PTSD:

    “PTSD is the mind’s way of telling your body not to do that sh*t again.”

    So yes, we do have PTSD, as should Reese and the entire FO. They watched their entire team mire themselves in mediocrity, and, worse yet, saw their franchise, Super Bowl QB pummeled into submission. The natural response would be to get treatment (i.e.- fix the problem). Reese has started that with his FA signings, but the task has not been completed.

  9.  fanfor55years says:

    If Hakeem Nicks can return to his pre-injury form then there’s no way Polian’s right about ODB being a “pretty big upgrade”. Of course almost any wide receiver picked in the first two rounds of this draft would be an upgrade over the 2013 Nicks. I will be very curious to see how Nicks plays this season. Either he’s a sad case of injuries sapping the talent of a potential HOF receiver, a complete head case who ruined himself in 2013 by “protecting his value”, or someone who is going to make Coughlin, Reese, and Polian look pretty stupid in retrospect.

    Beckham reminds many of Greg Jennings. Nicks reminded me of Michael Irvin when he was healthy. Who’s the better receiver? Look, I’m very happy with the pick, but I’d be careful about saying we’re better off than with Hakeem Nicks. Let’s wait and see what they each bring to the table this season.

    •  BillyS says:

      ODB could be an upgrade over Nicks (the good Nicks that is). As much as I loved Nicks while he was here, there were times when he had hands of stone or didn’t run a route all the way through or wouldn’t come back for the ball. He was great before he got injured, but he seemed to turn into a headcase and stopped really caring. By all reports, ODB seems to be extremely coachable. He WANTS to be great. If he’s as smart as everyone says then he’ll come here, work hard, and get his money when the time comes. Nicks went the opposite route and somehow thought he deserved it no matter what and that’s why he isn’t here anymore.

  10.  Nosh.0 says:

    Good stuff by everybody on here. Only a few thoughts to add.

    - Once I got over the heartbreak and dissappointment of knowing that Will Beatty is our LT of the future, I actually really liked the pick. You just have to go through the full grieving process and accept the fact that yes Jerry Reese really doesn’t care that much about the OL.

    - As many have said Beckham will be a beast. I don’t think he’s as fast as DJax. But I think he’ll be a better all around WR, i.e. ( Make the tough leaping catch, break tackles, shiftier).

    - At the end of the day it sounds like Eli now has another WR he can trust. It’s 3rd and 7, my Left Tackle just got beat, I need you to be in the right spot and make a tough catch. He now has at the minimum 2 guys that can do that (Ol’ Dirty, and Cruz)

    - I’m predicting a mini breakout this season for Jernigan. Similar to Marios 2009 breakout.

    - I know McAdoo uses 4 WR’s but I have to think this pick says a lot about what the Giants think of or don’t think of Randle.

    - It seems like Playmaking WR’s hit Free Agency less often, and when they do you have to overpay for one. So from a market standpoint, drafting your own, even as high as #12, seems like the best way to go.

    - ODB has the kind of skills that will translate much better to the NFL than Mike Evans.

    In summary. I love the pick. I still hate Will Beatty.

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