EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants selected wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. of LSU with the 12th pick overall in the first round of Thursday’s NFL draft.
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.
Beckham, who played at Isidore Newman H.S. in Louisiana, the same one attended by Giants quarterback Eli Manning, 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.
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.
The only downside to Beckham is his size, but his ability to go after the ball will more than compensate the lack of height.