Friday, May 9, 2014
Big Blue Morning: Beckham's connections
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham, Jr. went to high school at Isidore Newman in New Orleans, which is also the alma mater of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. So the Giants' 2014 first-round draft pick already has some level of familiarity with the quarterback who will be throwing him the ball in the NFL.
"I remember walking through the school and seeing his jersey, along with Peyton Manning's as well," Beckham said Thursday night, shortly after the Giants made him the No. 12 pick in the draft. "Every single day, it was just kind of motivation to me. And I've thrown with him a couple of times, so I know exactly what he has to offer. I'm really looking forward to getting back together with him."
Beckham also played wide receiver at LSU along with Rueben Randle, who was the Giants' second-round pick in the 2012 draft. Beckham and Randle were in contact prior to the draft, and Beckham said Randle was excited about the chance of teaming up again in New York.
"My big brother," Beckham said of Randle. "He kind of taught me the ropes when I came into LSU, and now I'm back with him again. It's pretty incredible."
So Beckham will have some familiar faces around when he arrives at the Giants' team facility to start his NFL career next week. Which is good. It's tough for a rookie to break into this league, and it can be intimidating. Being able to see people you know and with whom you already have a relationship can only be a help.
We'll spend some more time today examining what exactly the Giants liked about Beckham. Right after the pick was made, I wrote this Rapid Reaction in which I gave the pick a thumbs down not because of the player himself but because I didn't like him at that spot. But the Giants had their reasons, and again, we'll get into them as the day goes along and before we turn our attention to tonight's second-round and third-round picks.
I also wrote this analysis Thursday night about the extent to which Giants general manager Jerry Reese leans on player evaluation as opposed to assessing and maximizing the value of his picks. It's a way to go, but I don't think it's the right one, because it's too risky.
Much more to come, as there are six rounds still left in the draft and the Giants have picks in five of them.