Prospect: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
Height: 5’11 ¼ “
Weight: 198 pounds
Grade: 7.67 (Grading Scale)
Very good, naturally strong hands…attacks the ball in the air and easily plucks them with strong hands and fingers…excellent speed, ran an official 4.43 40 at the Combine…fast off the line, timed with a 1.50 10-yard split and it translates to the field…great long speed, doesn’t decelerate as he motors down the field…eats up cushion quickly, seldom wastes any steps to get going…quickly transitions from receiver to runner, and has vision and acceleration to rack up quick yards after the catch…leaps for the ball well, has 38.5” vertical…excellent at getting his body around and making the back-shoulder catch…can explode out of his breaks, particularly on downfield routes…very field-aware vs. the zone, can find the hole and present himself as a target well…has lined up all over the formation, from wide-side split end to the slot to short side flanker in bunch formations…experienced at running all sorts of routes and trees, played in a pro-style offense…dynamic kick returner who gets north/south quickly and can read his blocks…durable despite not being very big or big-framed…
Lacks strength, especially in his upper body. Put up just 7 bench press reps and has demonstrated negligible power as a blocker…Has trouble getting off tight press coverage at the line, can be rerouted and jarred off his line…doesn’t always cut sharply, tends to round his breaks especially when coming out of the slot…downshifts to make sharper cuts, the magnitude of which varies from minimal to pretty notable…quite hands are not as awesome as often depicted; there’s a widespread myth that he had just two drops in all of 2013, but in the five games I watched from that season I counted four…not great at improvising, doesn’t always work himself back or flow with a scrambling or pressured QB
Beckham is a speedy, productive receiver with very good hands. Watching him catch throws with awkward ball placement is really impressive, and he’s got a lot of experience making tough catches. He’s outstanding at transitioning quickly from receiver to runner, and his elusiveness and speed absolutely translate to the next level. OBJ, as he’s known to many, is adept at dissecting zones and blasting past deep safety help, too.
That makes Beckham an ideal candidate to play in the slot or as an outside option in a spread formation at the NFL level, even though he played all over the formation at LSU. He lacks both height and strength to play outside against more physical and longer corners. In addition, his game lacks consistency; at times his routes are gorgeously precise, but just as often he’s rounding cuts and slowing down a lot into them.
How well he solidifies his inconsistencies will determine whether he’s a solid NFL player or a legit impact talent. The potential is there for him to start right away for a team with a proven #1 outside target, and to put up big numbers early in his career. His return specialist ability builds in value.
Beckham projects to be drafted between 15-30 overall. He makes an excellent fit for teams like Atlanta, Detroit or San Francisco, teams with big #1 stars. I’m comfortable with him going in that range, and it wouldn’t bother me to see him go as high as 10th overall.—Jeff Risdon
LSU at TCU
–avoids the jam with an inside swim to cleanly release up the seam
–shows excellent acceleration and good vision on the fly on end around sweep, gets the corner and turns it up nicely while protecting the rock
–slow plays an inside slant in the red zone, turns & sits at the goal line opening in the zone, Mettenberger doesn’t see him
–LSU runs the same end around as before, Beckham makes first tackler miss in traffic before getting upended
–weak effort on block, uses just one hand and doesn’t work hard to sustain leverage
–on 3rd & 7 quickly bursts pasts the shallow zone corner and cuts inside underneath the safety trailing the downfield option. Presents himself as a target and basket catches a ball thrown a little low and behind him. Quick spin gets him from between converging tacklers and he races up the field for an extra 15 yards.
–runs past outside CB and gets a step on the skinny post. Hand plucks the deep ball with the corner breathing down his neck. Beautiful catch.
–shows his burst and shiftiness on kick return, jukes at high speed and uses a quick cut to make a tacler completely whiff in space
–flies past the double-high safety coverage down the middle on a post, has three steps on either defender. Slightly underthrown ball hits him in the hands and he drops it. Easy touchdown blown.
–doesn’t recognize his corner blitzing and continues on a downfield route without ever looking back to help his pressured QB.
–great job high-pointing a throw with Verrett all over him, wins the jump ball on the left sideline. Beckham helped make it a contested throw by rounding his break instead of cutting sharply.
–attacks the seam on kick return, follows his strong blocking and nearly takes it to the house, gets caught from behind deep in TCU territory
Florida at LSU
–makes first tackler miss on KR, shows good burst out of cut in taking it to the 30
–smartly comes back to his scrambling QB, basket catches the low throw. Quickly spins inside to break a tackle and explodes up the field for a nice gain.
–draws DPI in end zone, still almost made the tough catch with defender draped all over him
–stands and watches the action as Hill runs to his side, didn’t even try to block anyone
–calls fair catch too quickly on punt, wasn’t a Gator defender within 8 yards of him when he cleanly fielded the punt
–lines up too tight, has to motion out from the formation and forces LSU to burn a timeout to avoid a penalty
–avoids a half-assed jam effort from Purifoy and releases cleanly up the seam. Sharp plant and break inside to hand-catch a well-thrown ball at his shoulder.
–can’t stop his forward momentum fast enough to catch a ball at his shoe tops. Gets both hands on it but was falling away and juggles it away. See it here:
–gears down to make out cut, but makes a sharp one after he gathers himself in a step
LSU at Georgia
–takes kickoff on LSU’s 1st possession and bounces return outside from the hash, outruns two Bulldogs with angles on him for an extra 12 yards
–lined up in slot, runs a poor, round, out route as a clearout
–comes back up the right sideline to a rolling Mettenerger, dives back for low throw. Couldn’t make the tough catch, should have been defensive pass interference though. Did not cut sharply to create space, defender stayed on his hip the whole time.
–quickly flips his hips on a hitch route, lost the coverage with a subtle shoulder push
–in right slot in red zone, runs a rounded corner/out route
–reads the coverage giving loads of cushion even 12 yards down the field and downshifts a little to stop and flash back for the ball. Took him three steps to kill momentum and turn back to Mettenberger. Clean hands on catch
–puts his head down and largely misses with a shoulder chuck blocking attempt
–enveloped by strong jam, rerouted to the inside a lot further than designed
–misses his target on a block, his man makes the tackle
–great cut block on quick inside screen, completely takes his man out of the play
–no sharpness at all on quick drag route, rounded his cut badly
–flies off the line and splits the bracket coverage with a sharp post cut, was wide open down the middle but Mettenberger instead nearly throws a dumpoff INT
–3rd & 22 late in game with LSU down a field goal, lined up in short-side slot, flies off the line and runs a 25-yard hitch in right at 3 seconds. Makes the hands catch on ball at his neck and holds on while taking a big lick just after the ball arrives.
–smartly decelerates in between layers of the zone and gets wide open in intermediate middle, hands catch and quickly turns it up for extra yards before getting chopped down
–dances with four steps at the line to avoid a press jam, throws off timing of the route
Other games studied: Ole Miss, Texas A&M ’12 (seen in person), Florida ’12, Iowa, Alabama ’13, Alabama ‘11