(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we continue the list with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.)
Name:Odell Beckham Jr.
Team: New York Giants
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 2 seasons
2016 vs. Cowboys: The Cowboys and Giants will meet for the 109th and 110th time in Week 1 at AT&T Stadium and Week 14 at the Meadowlands. The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 62-44-2.
What's the Deal: He made the cover of "Madden" for good reason. The 12th overall pick in the draft two years ago, Beckham Jr. is now one of the league's biggest stars – and along with Dez Bryant, among the toughest covers in the NFC East. Two seasons into his NFL career, Beckham is a two-time Pro Bowler and the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014. He has topped 90 catches and 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first two years, and he has the second-most catches by any player in his first two seasons in NFL history (187).
Expect This:Like with any great player, the Cowboys have mixed up their approach against Beckham. Brandon Carr has covered him most often, but a variety of defensive backs have lined up against him at times – including an extra defender sliding his way on some plays. The Cowboys held Beckham to nine catches for 79 yards in two games last year, a major improvement over the teams' Meadowlands meeting in 2014 when Beckham caught 10 passes from Eli Manning for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
Previous Meetings: In four games against the Cowboys, Beckham has 23 catches for 259 yards and 3 scores. He has topped 100 yards once: the above-mentioned breakout performance in November 2014 that featured his spectacular one-handed touchdown grab over Carr – the play that launched Beckham into mainstream stardom.
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
- One of the most difficult receivers to defend in the league due to the pace in which he executes his routes. Difficult to gauge because he can be on a dead sprint up the field, then stop on a dime and turn for the ball.
- What is surprising about his game was there were snaps where Beckham did exactly what I described on his route but Eli Manning just flat missed him. His numbers and production could be even greater if Manning would just be on target with the ball.
- What makes Beckham special is the fact that he will take his routes all over the field. This is especially hard defensive backs that try and carry him. He is a nightmare for any cornerbacks that don't have vertical or lateral speed to keep up with him. You see him just explode away from coverage.
- Very aggressive going after the ball. Will lay out for an off-target pass. Plays with a physical edge to his game. Not afraid to mix it up. Tremendous battle with Josh Norman of the Panthers that ended ugly but he didn't back down.
- Runs sharp and crisp routes. Can shake a defender in the open field after a catch. Will run and catch a short pattern into the teeth of a defense, then turn it into a huge play. Good ball skills down the field competing for the ball.
- Hands are his best trait. Can snatch the ball away from his body. Makes catches all over the field, in and out of traffic – one handed or two, doesn't matter.
- Works hard to be great at his position. Has the speed to take the top off a secondary. Has the ability to get open underneath with quickness. Dangerous with the ball in his hands.
- A competitive and impact player who has the strength and explosion of a running back. Has big hands and long arms. Not afraid to block. More than willing to stick his nose in the action to free up the ball carrier.
- Tremendous ability to make those around him better. Big time player.
The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.