Steelers 2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Good friend Dave-Te’ Thomas of Scouting Services has finished his player profiles of several of the top 2014 NFL Draft prospects and over the course of the next few weeks I will be posting the ones that the Pittsburgh Steelers will more than likely have interest in. While LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has not been in for a pre draft visit, the Steelers did show interest in him at his Pro Day. With Beckham being the selection for the Steelers in the first round of my latest mock draft, today we post his player profile. Thomas has done these profiles for the NFL for several years and I know that many of you enjoy reading them.
ODELL BECKHAM JR.
Wide Receiver/Return Specialist
Louisiana State University Tigers
New Orleans, Louisiana
Isidore Newman High School
Beckham is the type of player that just wants to contribute on the football field, willing to take on any task the coaches assign to him. Whether it is lining up at split end, or flanking out, or moving inside to the slot position, Beckham has the experience, knowledge and savvy to catch the ball no matter where he lines up. He’s even proven to be a capable ball carrier on reverses and shows a strong enough arm to deliver on the option pass.
When the offense leaves the field, Beckham then prepares for his “other tour of duty,” by serving as the Tigers’ kickoff returner, in addition to handling punt return duties. The LSU multi-talented athlete went on to place second in the nation while leading the Southeastern Conference with 2,315 all-purpose yards. His total ranks third on the SEC’s single-season list behind Randall Cobb (2,396 yards, Kentucky, 2010) and Darren McFadden (2,310 yards, Arkansas, 2007).
Beckham ranked among the nation’s leaders while placing in the top-five among league players with a 26.41-yard kickoff return average third-best season average in SEC history, minimum 30 returns) and an 8.89-yard average on punt returns (third in the league). He also ranked fifth in the conference with eight touchdown catches and was fourth in the SEC while finishing 22nd in the nation with 1,152 receiving yards.
Beckham was joined by Jarvis Landry (1,193) in helping the Tigers become one of five teams among the 123 major colleges to feature more than one receiver gaining 1,000 aerial yards during the 2013 season, and the only one to be featured in the SEC ranks. With his complete body of work, the junior was named the Paul Hornung Award winner in what would be his final college season.
The Hornung Award is given annually to the nation’s most versatile player by the Louisville Sports Commission. “It’s just an honor and a blessing to even be mentioned with the other guys who were up for the Hornung Award,” Beckham said. “I am proud to accept the award and thank the committee for recognizing me. It means a lot to me personally because I have worked extremely hard, long before this season started. I had great teammates help me along the way, especially on kickoff and punt returns. None of the opportunities to display my versatility would have been possible if it weren’t for my teammates and coaches who put me in a position to succeed.”
Beckham was chosen the Hornung winner from among five finalists by a 16-member national Selection Committee comprised of sports journalists (including columnist Ron Higgins of NOLA.com and The Times Picayune) and retired NFL players and secured an additional first place vote from online fan voting. “I am excited for Odell to win this outstanding award,” LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said.” I have never been around a more versatile player, so this award is very fitting.”
“I love the way Odell Beckham plays the game,” said Hornung, a 1956 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame and and a Pro Football Hall of Fame member. “He can run, catch, block and return kicks and plays with great determination. And he has my admiration for lining up on the scout team during the season (before the Texas A&M game) to help his defense get better. That’s how I played the game – doing anything I could to help my team win.”
Gil Brandt, longtime NFL scouting guru and Hornung selection committee member, wasn’t surprised to see Beckham win the award. “Odell Beckham, Jr. brings the entire package as a versatile football player,” Brandt said. “He’s is the best college receiver in the country and the best kick and punt returner in the country.
“He’s a devastating blocker and has the speed and size to make outstanding plays in tough situations, which he demonstrated on a consistent basis in the big games in the toughest league in the country. He’s also a quality individual with a terrific attitude and work ethic.”
Odell Beckham, Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps in playing for the Tigers – Odell Beckham, Sr. was a running back for LSU from 1989-92, playing in 28 games. The family’s athletics bloodlines are strong as Beckham, Jr.’s mother was an All-American track runner for LSU from 1991-93, helping lead the Lady tigers to five national championships.
The athleticism and speed clearly passed down to their son, who was a big-play receiving and rushing threat at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans while also playing cornerback, quarterback and returning punts. A four-star recruit by Scout.com and Rivals.com, there was little doubt Beckham would matriculate to Baton Route for his college ball.
Beckham joined Cooper Manning, Archie Manning’s son and brother of Eli and Peyton, as the only players in Newman history to break the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a season, after he hauled in 50 passes for 1,010 yards and 19 touchdown receptions as a senior. He showed his dynamic versatility as he rushed for 331 yards and six scores, passed for 90 yards and another touchdown and returned two punts for scores in 2010.
On defense he posted four interceptions that campaign. The year before, Beckham caught 45 passes for 743 yards and ten touchdowns. He also posted 123 rushing yards and three scores on 14 carries as a junior. He was rated as the sixth-best wide receiver and as the 40th-best player nationally by Rivals.com.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant (West Roster) was also named to the Press-Register Super Southeast 120 and Times Picayune 2011 Blue-Chip lists along with earning a spot on The Advocate’s Super Dozen. The Prep Star All American was named to the Louisiana 2A All-State first team as a wide receiver and also earned District 9-2A Offensive MVP honors.
Beckham wasted little time getting established at Louisiana State, as the All-Southeastern Conference Freshman team choice posted 41 catches for 475 yards and two touchdowns in 2011, playing in all fourteen games including nine starts. He also averaged 8.6 yards as a punt returner and 24.0 yards as a kickoff returner.
The following season, Beckham started twelve games at split end, leading the Tigers with 43 catches and 713 yards, scoring twice. He also returned 35 punts for 320 yards and a pair of touchdowns and recorded a pair of 100-yard receiving performances.
Beckham was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference pick by the league’s coaches and named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-American Super Sleeper Team, as the FBS’ most versatile player shattered the Tigers’ season record for all-purpose yardage as a junior, as his 2,315 yards topped Domanick Davis’ previous mark of 2,120 set in 2002.
On January 5th, 2014, the LSU football program received a double jolt when both Beckham and Jarvis Landry, their superb pair of starting wide receivers, informed the coaching staff that both were leaving school and had entered the 2014 NFL Draft as part of the record-breaking 102 underclassmen to file.
The duo were the first in LSU history to post 1,000 yard seasons in the same year, becoming only the third pair of SEC wide receivers to accomplish the rare feat in the league’s storied history. Landry finished the season with a team-high 77 receptions for 1,193 yards and ten touchdowns. Beckham finished with 59 receptions for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns.
Beckham put on an eye-opening performance at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, where he had one of the top times in the 40-yard dash (4.43). His 20-yard shuttle of 3.94 seconds was third-best among all wide receivers in attendance and fourth-best among all players at the 2014 event. Dating back through the last decade of combines, that time ranks fourth-best among the receivers that attended.
Beckham’s 60-yard shuttle clocking of 10.93 second was also third-best among the 2014 wide receivers and fourth-best overall in 2014. Among all receivers to attend the combines the last ten years, that timing is seventh-best among receivers and 11th-best overall.
Beckham Started 34-of-40 games that he played in at split end, recording 143 receptions for 2,340 yards (16.36 ypc) and twelve touchdowns … Returned 42 kickoffs for 1,044 yards (24.86 avg) and 62 punts for 557 yards (8.98 avg) with a pair of scores … Added 77 yards on seven carries … Attempted one pass, assisted on a tackle and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown … NCAA Career-Record Results … Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers, Beckham ranks 11th with an average gain of 16.36 yards per reception, placing ninth with 557 punt return yards and fifth with two punt returns for scores … His total of 62 punt returns are third-best among active players … School Career-Record Results … Beckham ranks seventh in school history with 2,340 yards receiving and his 143 catches placed ninth … his 1,044 yards via kickoff returns is sixth-best in school annals while his 557 punt return yards rank tenth … Finished fifth on the all-time chart with 4,118 all-purpose yards.
In 2013 Beckham (1,152 yards) and Jarvis Landry (1,193 yards) became the first pair of Tigers receivers to gain 1,000 yards receiving in the same season … It was just the third time in Southeastern Conference annals that two receivers from the same team gained 1,000 yards in the same campaign, as the Tigers duo joined Florida’s Ike Hilliard (1,008) and Chris Doering (1,045) in 1995 and Florida’s Jabar Gaffney (1,191) and Reche Caldwell (1,059) in 2001 … LSU is also the first team in SEC history to feature a 3,000-yard passer (Zach Mettenberger – 3,082 yards), two 1,000-yard receivers (Beckham and Landry) and a 1,000-yard running back (Jeremy Hill – 1,401 yards) in the same season … Southeastern Conference Season-Record Results … Beckham’s 1,152 receiving yards in 2013 rank 20th on the SEC chart … His average of 26.41 yards on kickoff returns in 2013 is the third-best by an SEC player behind Brandon Jones of Florida (28.03 avg; 30 for 841 in 2007) and Derek Abney of Kentucky (26.8 avg; 30 for 804 in 2002) … Tied for seventh on the SEC list with 32 kickoff returns in 2013 … His 2,315 all-purpose yards as a junior is the third-best season total in league annals, topped by Randall Cobb (2,396 yards, Kentucky, 2010) and Darren McFadden (2,310 yards, Arkansas, 2007) … School Season-Record Results … The junior tied for tenth on the LSU annual list with 52 receptions, placing fourth with 1,152 yards and third with an average of 19.53 yards per reception in 2013 … His 845 yards via kickoff returns are topped by only Patrick Peterson (932 yards in 2010) … His 32 kickoff returns tied Peterson’s 2010 mark for the school record … Beckham’s 2,315 all-purpose yards set another school record, surpassing the 2,120 yards amassed by Domanick Davis in 2002. The only other Tiger to gain 2,000 all-purpose yards in a season was Kevin Faulk (2,109 in 1998 and 2,104 in 1996).
Beckham’s 204 receiving yards vs. Furman in 2013 is the fifth-best game total by a Tiger … His seven kickoff returns vs. Georgia in 2013 tied the school game mark, as his 175 kickoff return yards vs. the Bulldogs is an LSU record while his 293 all-purpose yards in that contest rank fifth on the game list.
The Hornung Award winner and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist received All-American first-team honors as an all-purpose back by The NFL Draft Report, Football Writers Association and CBSsports.com, adding third-team accolades from the Associated Press … First-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by the league’s coaches and AP … Named the SEC’s Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Alabama-Birmingham and the named to the Hornung Award Honor Roll vs. UAB, Texas Christian and Mississippi State … Started all thirteen games at split end, ranking second on the team, as he caught 59-of-90 passes targeted to him (65.56%), as the opposition deflected fourteen of those tosses … Gained 1,152 yards receiving (fourth-best season total in school history, as his average of 19.53 yards per catch is the third-best recorded by a Tiger in a season … Added 58 yards on five carries and ranked third in the SEC while placing 20th in the nation with a school record-tying 32 kickoff returns for 845 yards (second on the school season-record chart), as his average of 26.41 yards is the third-best ever by an SEC performer in a season (minimum of thirty runbacks) … Added 160 yards on eighteen punt returns, as his average of 8.89 yards ranked third in the league … Also recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, as he set the school season-record, ranking third on the SEC’s annual record list while leading the conference and ranking second in the nation with 2,315 all-purpose yards … Became the tenth player in LSU history to reach the 2,000-yard career receiving mark after he racked up 204 yards and two touchdowns on six catches vs. Furman, as he also became the eighth player in school annals to record a 200 receiving yard game, and his 204-yard performance vs. Furman ranks as the sixth-highest total in school annals. It is also the first 200-yard receiving game since Devery Henderson had 201 in 2002 in the Kentucky clash … Earned a career high in catches with nine for 179 yards at Mississippi State, including 33-yard and 14-yard touchdowns. The 179 receiving yards at MSU are the most by a Tiger in an SEC game since Devery Henderson had 201 in the “Bluegrass Miracle” at Kentucky in 2002. He finished with 290 all-purpose yards at MSU, the sixth-best single-game total in school history…Tallied his third 100-yard receiving game of the season with six catches for 118 yards at Georgia, as he set the school game-record with 175 kickoff return yards on seven runbacks, beating the previous record of 164 yards by Trindon Holliday vs. Georgia in 2008…Caught five passes for 59 yards and finished with 88 all-purpose yards vs. Auburn…Hauled in his fourth touchdown reception of the season and finished with five grabs for 76 yards vs. Kent State…Earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he tallied the third-most all-purpose yards in a game in school history and eighth-most in SEC history with 331 in the Alabama-Birmingham contest, as he had 136 receiving yards, 100 on a missed 59-yard field goal attempt he returned for a touchdown, 59 punt return yards, 21 on a kickoff and 15 on a rushing attempt, becoming the first LSU player since LaBrandon Toefield in 2001 to score four touchdowns in a game as he hauled in three touchdown receptions and returned a missed field goal for a score vs. UAB. He is also the first LSU player with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Dwayne Bowe did it in 2006. His three touchdown receptions vs. UAB are the most since Terrence Toliver had three vs. Texas A&M in the 2011 Cotton Bowl…Racked up 272 all-purpose yards vs. Texas Christian in the Cowboys Classic, where he caught five passes for 118 yards, recorded 136 yards on kickoffs and had 18 rushing yards. His 118 receiving yards are the most in an opener for LSU since Michael Clayton had 152 to open 2003. In the season opener, he teamed with Jarvis Landry to become the first LSU duo to top 100 receiving yards in the same game since January 1st, 2002 when Josh Reed and Michael Clayton did it in the Sugar Bowl vs. Illinois.
Beckham started twelve games at split end, leading the team with 713 yards while placing second with 43 receptions (16.58 ypc) that included two touchdowns … Returned five kicks for 79 yards and 35 punts (sixth-highest total in a season by a Tiger) for 320 yards (9.1 avg) and two touchdowns … Led SEC in punt returns, ranked fourth in punt return yards and seventh in yards per return … Had two 100-yard receiving games, as he pulled in five balls for 128 yards and two scores vs. Towson and made four catches for 112 yards vs. Arkansas … Earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he returned a punt 89 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, his second punt return for a score this season, that helped propel LSU to a win vs. Ole Miss. He finished that game with three punt returns for 109 yards and caught two passes for 13 yards…Led the team with four grabs for 78 yards at Florida, including a season-long 56-yard reception … Displayed his tremendous athleticism with a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. North Texas, as he also had a 76-yard return for a score vs. North Texas negated by a block in the back penalty.
Beckham earned Freshman All-Southeastern Conference honors after catching 41 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns … 20 of his 41 catches resulted in a first down, as he ranked second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards … Played in all fourteen games, starting nine times … Caught at least two passes in all but two games (Florida, Georgia) … Wasted little time to make his impact felt as he led the Tigers with eight catches for 61 yards vs. Mississippi State in what was his first SEC game … Became the first Tiger since Bennie Brazell in 2005 to have back-to-back games with 50-plus yard receiving touchdowns (52-yarder at West Virginia, 51-yarder vs. Kentucky)…Turned in one of the most electrifying plays of the season with a 51-yard scoring reception that saw him break tackles and weave his way across the field to the end zone vs. Kentucky, finishing with three catches for 75 yards and one TD vs. Kentucky…Caught his first career touchdown on a 52-yard catch and run at West Virginia and finished the game with two receptions for 82 yards … Named the SEC Freshman of the Week after he hauled in eight receptions for 61 yards at Mississippi State and became the first LSU freshman wide receiver to record at least eight catches in a game since Michael Clayton had eight vs. Illinois in the Sugar Bowl on January 1st, 2002…Tied for the team lead in catches with five for 40 yards vs. North-western State in his first career start.
Beckham has never missed game action due to an injury.
4.43 in the 40-yard dash … 1.57 10-yard dash … 2.58 20-yard dash … 3.94 20-yard shuttle … 10.93 60-yard shuttle … 6.69 three-cone drill … 38 ½-inch vertical jump … 10’-2” broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds seven times … 32 ¾-inch arm length … 10-inch hands … 78 1/8-inch wingspan.
Beckham attended Isidore Newman (New Orleans, La.) High School, playing football for head coach Nelson Stewart … Rated a four-star recruit by Scout.com and Rivals.com …
Joined Cooper Manning as the only players in Newman history to break the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a season, after he hauled in 50 passes for 1,010 yards and 19 touchdown receptions as a senior … Showed his dynamic versatility as he rushed for 331 yards and six scores, passed for 90 yards and another touchdown and returned two punts for scores in 2010 … On defense he posted four interceptions that campaign … The year before, Beckham caught 45 passes for 743 yards and ten touchdowns … Also posted 123 rushing yards and three scores on 14 carries as a junior … Rated as the sixth-best wide receiver and as the 40th-best player nationally by Rivals.com … The U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant (West Roster) was also named to the Press-Register Super Southeast 120 and Times Picayune 2011 Blue-Chip lists along with earning a spot on The Advocate’s Super Dozen … The Prep Star All American was named to the Louisiana 2A All-State first team as a wide receiver and also earned District 9-2A Offensive MVP honors.
Beckham is majoring in Human Movement Fitness … Father, Odell Beckham Sr., played running back at LSU from 1989-1992. His dad played in 28 games, starting nine times for the Tigers, rushing for 757 yards and seven touchdowns in his career … Mother, Heather Van Norman, was an All-American track runner at LSU from 1991-93 during which time she helped lead the Lady Tigers to five national championships. Van Norman was a member of two NCAA Indoor titles in 1991 and 1993 and three-straight NCAA Outdoor titles from 1991-93. She left LSU as a six-time All-American and captured three individual NCAA titles as a member of LSU’s relay teams during her senior season in 1993 … Born 11/05/92 … Resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.