By Chris Foster (@FootballNuke)
As part of the New York Giants’ voluntary dismantling, general manager Dave Gettleman shipped one of the best wide receivers in the league off to Cleveland for a player, two picks and some free passes to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
Who is Odell Beckham Jr. and what does he bring to Cleveland?
Beckham is twenty-six years old entering his sixth year in the NFL. During those six years, Beckham failed to eclipse 1,000 yards only once. That was in 2017 when Odell spent most of the year on IR. Last year, Beckham was only on the field for twelve games. He tallied 1,052 yards on 77 receptions and reached the end zone six times. Project those numbers over a sixteen-game season and those numbers look great (103/1,402/8). Beckham’s career yards per reception is 14.0 for his career. He averages 92.8 yards per game. He’s a supreme talent that can lead the league in most receiving statistical categories.
He’s also a bit of a diva – as most world-class wideouts are, and putting him together with a young, brash, quarterback could potentially be a powder keg.
Is Odell’s new quarterback – Baker Mayfield – capable of getting him the ball?
Baker Mayfield’s NFL story is still in its fledgling state, but so far, so good. Starting thirteen games in 2018, he threw for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns. Baker’s completion percentage last year was 63.8%, but his final two years at Oklahoma he had over a 70% completion rate. The accuracy is there. The arm strength is there. The talent is there. The bottom line is there is no reason to believe that Baker will struggle getting the ball to OBJ.
What does Mayfield’s protection look like?
The Browns shipped Kevin Zeitler to the Giants, but they still have a formidable line. Some well-known websites ranked the Browns line as one of the top-ten lines in the league at the end of last year. Carrying that through to this year, Mayfield should have plenty of time to run, throw or flex towards Hue Jackson. Mayfield will have time to run this offense which is good for Beckham.
What about Odell’s new coaches?
Freddie Kitchens is the new head coach. Taking over as the offensive coordinator last year and showed the ability to put his key players in position to win games. Kitchens’ offensive coordinator is Todd Monken – a guy who believes in running to setup the pass. If our historical view of the coaches holds true, the Browns are going to let Baker throw a lot. This is good news for Beckham.
Putting it all together – is Odell Beckham, Jr going to live up to his 2019 ADP?
At the time of this article, Beckham’s ADP is 1.12. That’s about where he was last year. While he certainly would have been a WR1 in New York, Beckham has a very good chance of being the overall number wide receiver in the league. Here is my top ten wideouts:
Odell Beckham, Jr.
Tyreek Hill (pending allegations)
There you have it. Other than the guy who never drops a ball – DeAndre Hopkins – I would take OBJ in a dynasty draft as the number two wide receiver off the board every time. Beckham and his new team check all the boxes for me to identify an elite performer:
Skilled quarterback with growth potential
Top ten offensive line
Coaching staff that wants to move the ball through the air
This could be a special year in Cleveland. It could in fact be a very special next decade in Cleveland - if all these guys can get along. Rise or fall, Odell Beckham will play a big part of the Cleveland Browns’ story for the foreseeable future.
2019 Fantasy Impact Projection – Odell Beckham, Jr.