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Odell Beckham

Will Rams help Beckham return to elite receiver status?

Can Odell Beckham get back to being an elite, top-level receiver? He got off to an ominous start on Monday night, catching 2 passes for 18 yards, with a forced long ball on the first possession resulting in a tone-setting interception.

Beckham had limited practice reps, of course, and he didn’t even play all that much – just 15 plays. On this front, the Rams get their bye week at the perfect time. It will give him an extra week to study the playbook and get some practice reps with Matthew Stafford. Not that they’ll have everything worked out; it takes months or even years to really build a top-level rapport. Consider Antonio Brown, who’s averaging 2 more yards per pass target this year, now that he’s had some time to work with Tom Brady.

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Beckham to do all of the good things they were getting out of Robert Woods. Woods has been in the Sean McVay offense since the beginning, and he’s a tough, trusty pro.

They might, however, get more big plays out Beckham. He’s a little faster and more athletic than Woods.

That’s the theory, anyway. Beckham hasn’t actually shown much on the field in recent years. They could never get him going in Cleveland, where he suffered a torn ACL and at times didn’t want to work out with the team in the offseason.

In this last 16 full games in Cleveland (and old season’s worth of action) Beckham caught 57 passes for 781 yards and 5 TDs.

In his last 16 games with the Giants (in the 2017-18 seasons) he caught 102 passes for 1,354 yards and 9 TDs.

The buzz with Beckham comes from what he did in his first two seasons, when he looked like he was going to be one of the league’s great receivers – a Randy Moss kind of guy. He had the unbelievable touchdown catch against the Cowboys, where he seemingly caught the ball with 2 fingers. If you look at the 20 games starting with that Sunday night game, he caught 151 passes for 2,238 yards and 22 TDs, stats that Moss or Jerry Rice would be proud of. If we want to stick with 16-game chunks, I see one in there where he caught 117 passes for 1,796 yards and 18 TDs.

But those All-World numbers came from back in 2014-15, and that’s a galaxy away for NFL purposes. Josh Gordon was also a remarkable receiver at that time. Years go by, and players change.

For me, if you’ve got Beckham, you’re hoping he can kind of be another Robert Woods, with probably fewer catches but maybe more big plays. But I’m not super confident that will happen. I wouldn’t surprise me at all if Van Jefferson in December finishes with better numbers than Beckham. I consider Beckham to be much closer to Jefferson than to Cooper Kupp.

ODELL BECKHAM, GAME-BY-GAME RECEIVING
YearTmOppResultNoYdsAvgTD
2014NYGat PHIL 0-2722814.00
2014NYGat DALL 21-314348.52
2014NYGINDL 24-40815619.50
2014NYGat SEAL 17-38710815.40
2014NYGSFOL 10-1669315.50
2014NYGDALL 28-311014614.62
2014NYGat JAXL 24-2579012.90
2014NYGat TENW 36-71113011.81
2014NYGWASW 24-131214311.93
2014NYGat STLW 37-27814818.52
2014NYGPHIL 26-341218515.41
2015NYGat DALL 26-275448.80
2015NYGATLL 20-24714620.91
2015NYGWASW 32-2177911.31
2015NYGat BUFW 24-105387.60
2015NYGSFOW 30-27712117.31
2015NYGat PHIL 7-277618.71
2015NYGDALW 27-204358.80
2015NYGat NORL 49-52813016.33
2015NYGat TAMW 32-18910511.70
2015NYGNWEL 26-27410426.01
2015NYGat WASL 14-20914215.81
2015NYGNYJL 20-23614924.81
2015NYGat MIAW 31-24716623.72
2015NYGCARL 35-3867612.71
2015NYGPHIL 30-3555410.80
2016NYGat DALW 20-1947318.30
2016NYGNORW 16-1388610.80
2016NYGWASL 27-29712117.30
2016NYGat MINL 10-243237.70
2016NYGat GNBL 16-2355611.21
2016NYGBALW 27-23822227.82
2016NYGat LARW 17-105499.80
2016NYGPHIW 28-2344611.52
2016NYGCINW 21-2010979.71
2016NYGCHIW 22-165469.20
2016NYGat CLEW 27-1369616.02
2016NYGat PITL 14-241010010.00
2016NYGDALW 10-749423.51
2016NYGDETW 17-666410.71
2016NYGat PHIL 19-241115013.60
2016NYGat WASW 19-105448.80
2016NYGat GNBL 13-384287.00
2017NYGDETL 10-244369.00
2017NYGat PHIL 24-279798.82
2017NYGat TAML 23-2579012.90
2017NYGLACL 22-2759719.41
2018NYGJAXL 15-201111110.10
2018NYGat DALL 13-2045112.80
2018NYGat HOUW 27-22910912.10
2018NYGNORL 18-337608.60
2018NYGat CARL 31-33813116.41
2018NYGPHIL 13-346447.30
2018NYGat ATLL 20-23814317.91
2018NYGWASL 13-20813617.00
2018NYGat SFOW 27-2347318.32
2018NYGTAMW 38-3547418.51
2018NYGat PHIL 22-2558517.00
2018NYGCHIW 30-2733511.71
2019CLETENL 13-4377110.10
2019CLEat NYJW 23-3616126.81
2019CLELARL 13-206569.30
2019CLEat BALW 40-2522010.00
2019CLEat SFOL 3-3122713.50
2019CLESEAL 28-32610116.80
2019CLEat NWEL 13-2755210.40
2019CLEat DENL 19-2458717.40
2019CLEBUFW 19-1655711.40
2019CLEPITW 21-746015.00
2019CLEMIAW 41-2468414.01
2019CLEat PITL 13-203299.70
2019CLECINW 27-1923919.50
2019CLEat ARIL 24-388668.30
2019CLEBALL 15-3144411.01
2019CLEat CINL 23-3338127.01
2020CLEat BALL 6-383227.30
2020CLECINW 35-3047418.51
2020CLEWASW 34-2045914.80
2020CLEat DALW 49-3858116.22
2020CLEINDW 32-2355811.60
2020CLEat PITL 7-3822512.50
2020CLEat CINW 37-3400-0
2021CLECHIW 26-657715.40
2021CLEat MINW 14-722713.50
2021CLEat LACL 42-4722010.00
2021CLEARIL 14-3757915.80
2021CLEDENW 17-1422311.50
2021CLEPITL 10-15166.00
2021LARat SFOL 10-312189.00

Statistics compiled using search tools at Pro-Football-Reference.com

—Ian Allan

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