No one saw the Giants selection of Odell Beckham, jr. coming last May. Zack Martin, the guard selected by the Dallas Cowboys four picks later, or Aaron Donald, the defensive tackle taken by the St. Louis (Los Angeles?) Rams, the very next pick, were the in vogue mock draft selections. Wide receiver was not a perceived need, and Beckham does not match the Giants new draft profile, as written up in the Giants360 draft bible, in this case, the 2014 Nolan Nawrocki NFL Draft Preview. We have the guides going back to 2005 to use as reference material, not because we’re obsessive compulsive.
Reviewing player draft evaluations reminds us what an inexact science the selection of talent is for front office professionals at the NFL level. Removing the process one step, and trying to predict their selections adds another layer of uncertainly to the process. Over the next two weeks, you will hear that a certain player is “Rapidly rising up” such and such a team’s draft board. It’s not because new information or hidden game film is uncovered, but because the coaching staffs turn their attention to finalizing the draft board and add their voices to those of the scouts. New blood reveals different strengths and weaknesses in the same game tape that the scouts tired eyes have seen hundreds of times.
For the Giants, talent trumps leadership in the first round. Beckham was not a team captain, not did his profile reveal a driving passion for the game. It did, however contain this gem under the “Scout’s take,” which when reviewed in light of Beckham’s 2014 season makes one laugh in hindsight, “He is a little bit of a knucklehead, but he can play. The school has two video tapes of him and (Jarvis) Landry making a bunch of ridiculous one-handed grabs, in practice and in games. It looked like some YouTube Collaboration. It is crazy. You have to see it.” We did, anonymous scout, against Dallas in November, it was real, and it was spectacular.
The Giants will not use a high draft pick on a receiver, unless that player is so highly rated above the others available when they select at pick 9 or pick 40 that passing on him will lead to a decade of regret. Not selecting Beckham would have resulted in such remorse when he started dominating for another team. Amari Cooper or Kevin White do not appear to fit the Giants draft profile, so the question of whether the Giants will take either, if they are on the board at pick 9, will come down to their draft board. Giants360 thinks not, but we also did not see Beckham coming and boy, are glad we were wrong.
On to the Draft Six Pack of Receivers and Tight Ends…