- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Detroit Lions reporter
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When he was asked who the best receiver in the league is right now, though, he started gushing about someone else – and someone who caught Johnson’s attention this season – Odell Beckham Jr.
“Calvin is definitely at the top,” Woodson said following a wine tasting for TwentyFour Wines at Plum Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I think it’s remarkable what this young kid from New York did this year, Odell Beckham. It’s pretty impressive.
“There’s always great athletes but for a guy to come out and kind of make that splash the way he did, it’s kind of Randy Moss-esque.”
Woodson said some of the catches Beckham made were extremely impressive. The Giants rookie receiver leapt into the conversation among the league’s best receivers after a one-handed fingertip catch against Dallas. It was a catch at which Johnson marveled as well.
The catch was merely part of a rookie season where Beckham had 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. Beckham’s numbers were comparable to Moss’ rookie season, when he had 69 catches for 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. Moss, though, played in all 16 games for the Vikings in 1998.
Beckham finished 10th in the league in receiving yards and along with Johnson (16th, 1,077 yards) and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green (20th, 1,041 yards) were the only receivers in the top 20 who played in less than 15 games. Beckham also finished tied for ninth in receptions and tied for fourth in touchdowns.
Beckham already has vaulted himself into the discussion of best receiver in the league, along with such players as Dez Bryant, Johnson and Green.
“There’s a lot of good guys out there,” Woodson said. “A.J. Green. As you mentioned, Dez Bryant. Those guys at the top.”
Charles Woodson still says Calvin Johnson is tops among NFL receivers, but he has high praise for Odell Beckham Jr., too.