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Carolina Panthers GM Dave Gettleman: Odell Beckham Jr. Best Route Runner from Rookie Class

May 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 PM
By Dan Benton

Carolina Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman is extremely pleased with the team's selection of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the 2014 NFL Draft, likening him to former New York Giants wideout Plaxico Burress. But despite the high praise for his rookie, it's Giants' first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. whom he feels is the best route runner coming out of the draft.

On Wednesday, Gettleman took that stance a step further, saying Beckham Jr. was the only wide receiver to come out of the NFL Draft who can "run the entire route tree."

"The college game, by and large, is really kind of a different game from ours," Gettleman said following the 2014 NFL Draft. "You watch these receivers, they catch 120 balls and you got 60 smokescreens. And they run three routes."

One of the largest problems plaguing the Giants in 2013 was bad route running courtesy of their wide receivers, which often left quarterback Eli Manning expecting someone to be where they weren't. The biggest culprit of that appeared to be Beckham's former LSU teammate, Rueben Randle, whose job he is aiming to take in 2014.

Coupled with a new offensive system that relies less on a complex route tree and timing between the quarterback and wide receivers, Beckham's refined skill will only serve to boost the likelihood of his contributes for the Giants out of the gate. The only real pitfall he faces heading into 2014 is getting comfortable at the NFL level and learning the new terminology — something many of the rookies have admitted is quite difficult.

Despite what some "experts" believe, Beckham Jr. is poised to make a big impact for Big Blue in his rookie season.

Also…

Tags: Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Dave Gettleman, Football, Kelvin Benjamin, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Odell Beckham Jr., Plaxico Burress

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4 Responses to “Carolina Panthers GM Dave Gettleman: Odell Beckham Jr. Best Route Runner from Rookie Class”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    IMO, he’s going to be real good right out of the box. And if this offense will put him in space to operate, he will smoke DB’s/LB’s with his running ability.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    So, let’s see.

    The team has DEFINITELY put together the best defensive secondary they’ve had since Em Tunnell was patrolling back there, and what looks to be one of the best in the league (and I think definitely the best if it somehow includes Will Hill).

    The team has tremendously strengthened the linebackers by bringing back Beason, signing McClain (a sleeper, IMO, who will add grit and hitting to the defense and is very strong against the run), and drafting Kennard and possibly being able to make use of Behre in some kind of a hybrid role on obvious passing plays.

    The defensive front is a little bit of a question mark that will probably rise or fall on the health of JPP, the maturing of an only 21-year old Moore, the play of Ayres, and how dominating Hankins can be in the middle. Frankly, with the addition of Bromley and the re-signing of Patterson, I think we will be STRONGER at defensive tackle than we were last season when that was a strength of the team. I figure Hankins (as a starter)+ Bromley is better than Linval with Hankins only playing a modest number of snaps. And if Ayres plays decently how can we NOT be better at DE than last season with a healthier JPP, more mature and experienced Moore, and Kiwi able to take advantage of one-on-one matchups and a stronger set of corners who might make the QB wait an extra half-second on his release?

    If Beckham can make the lineup as the X-receiver as a rookie then our wide receivers look pretty dangerous. Randle is not going to see much except single-coverage and given somewhat easier route trees he should thrive this season. And we’ve added Manningham, a player who never got his due the last time around and should be able to contribute plenty. Add the fact that Jernigan suits the McAdoo style almost perfectly and there are a LOT of weapons there for Eli.

    The O-line is going to be much-improved. (It couldn’t get worse, but it should be far better). Schwartz is the real deal. Whomever wins the center position will be a very solid player. Pugh can be moved if needed. There was enough brought in via free agency, and there may be enough talent among the developmental group, that another series of bad games from Beatty could result in replacing him. They may not become great, this season, but they should be at least decent.

    I love this group of running backs. Two legitimate #1 backs who could carry a load (Jennings and Williams), and a homerun threat in Wilson whom I think is going to show why he was a #1 pick because he will have an offensive coordinator who figures out how to get him the ball where he can make defenses pay a high price.

    Okay, tight end is a mystery, but it can’t be worse than Myers, so we can hope it’s a plus this season.

    I’m not about to declare this a team ready to compete for a championship, but when you go through the roster it’s impossible not to think that they are a FAR better team than last year’s and that if things broke right they are at least able to contemplate getting hot late and making another run. As I look closely I’d say this is a 10-win team if they didn’t have a pretty brutal schedule. We should be careful not to allow last year’s mess cloud our view of this year. This team has been SIGNIFICANTLY upgraded. Mara, Reese, Ross & Co. have done a fine job. Of course the proof will be in the pudding, and injuries can always derail anything, but I have a feeling we might get pleasantly surprised in 2014. The more I look at this roster the more I like it.

    •  rlhjr says:

      The best part about the roster that Reese has assembled is the mixture of youth and youthful veterans that have been thrown together. If the offensive and defensive units gel, there is no question they can be head and shoulders better than what was fielded last campaign.

      Of particular interest is the status of left offensive tackle and guard and the type and amount of production from Moore, Hankins and Ayers. It would certainly help if any offensive production could be had from the TE position and that is inclusive of pass/run blocking.

      If the two lines function well, there is chance of playing meaningful games in December. But we are talking five positions (2 defense 3 offense) that are critical to this team’s success. And that is taking for granted that running backs and wide receivers will pan out. Big questions to be answered for sure.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    On another note, my son just sent me the interview with Adrien Robinson. What a dope! Sounds like this kid was clueless his first two seasons here and is neither a rocket scientist nor someone who has that internal drive to become the best he can. Hey, he could turn it around, but it would not surprise me if he gets supplanted at some point by Grimble. That kid DOES have the drive to excel.

    You don’t have to be a genius to be a terrific football player, but if you don’t have that internal drive to succeed no amount of athletic talent is going to be enough. I hope Robinson finds it in himself to want to get better each and every day, but I’m now pretty skeptical and he’s going to have to prove it before I’ll believe it.

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