IRVING, Texas – It's pretty common for a football factory to send a talented receiver out into the upper rounds of the NFL draft – it happens every year.
It's a little less common to see the same school, LSU in this case, send two all-conference receivers out in the same draft cycle, with both players eying the top two or three rounds. But that'll be the case when Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry hear their names called in two weeks during the NFL draft.
It will be the latest accomplishment for the duo, which shredded SEC defenses for a combined 2,345 and 18 touchdowns during their dynamic junior seasons in 2013.
"It's just our chemistry and the things that we do for each other, to lift each other's spirits, to perform and be competitive around each other says a lot about him and myself," Landry said April 9 at LSU's Pro Day.
As has been the case with most of this draft's top talent, both receivers have caught the eye of the Cowboys during their rise to the top of the draft. Plenty of people, including Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, have cast doubt on the team's need for talent at receiver, but Beckham and Landry have not been ignored during the draft evaluation process.
Beckham might have placed himself beyond the Cowboys' reach with some impressive performances ahead of the draft. Already noted for his hands and route-running, Beckham posted a 4.44 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which positioned him as a possible first-round pick – likely too high for the Cowboys to take.
"I think Odell is going to be drafted early," said LSU coach Les Miles. "You hate to predict a draft position, but if he isn't gone in the first day I will be surprised."
His counterpart might wait a bit longer. A hamstring injury contributed to Landry posting a disappointing 4.77 40 time at the Combine, which seemed to hurt his draft stock – though he rebounded at the school's Pro Day with times of 4.51 and 4.58.
"I'm ecstatic about it," Landry said of the improved time. "Just being able to show my straight line speed and show that drastic improvement as well as bouncing back from that injury and being able to run it well was a good experience." Even still, the popular opinion is that Landry can't match Beckham's athleticism. Talk to draft experts, though, and you'll hear many say Landry has the better hands. His toughness and willingness to block also make him an interesting option as an NFL slot receiver.
"I think certain guys are football players," Miles said. "There was an offensive guard back in the NFL who played for the Vikings. He had the worst stance. He looked terrible. I could not believe he is an NFL player. Then I watched him come off the ball and I said 'Wow.' He was one of those great football players that not necessarily defined himself his height, stance, weight, athletic ability, but his mental toughness. I think Jarvis Landry has that." [embedded_ad]
It marks the second-straight year two high profile teammates have gone at the top of the draft. West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were taken No. 8 overall and No. 92, respectively, just last spring. Though it seems unlikely LSU's duo would wind up on the same team, as Austin and Bailey did with the Rams.
Regardless, it seems like a given the Tigers' dynamic duo will be linked no matter where they wind up.
It's a great feeling, just being able to see him just get out there," Beckham said. "Just being able to see him enjoy himself and have fun, it just touches me right there."