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.
"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.
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