The Eagles are probably going to be in the market for a few wide receivers this offseason. Philadelphia is likely looking for an upgrade over Jason Avant and possibly a replacement for Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper or both. Also, the Eagles could use a wide receiver that can double as a return man. That is where LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. could come in handy.
Beckham is one of the top receiver/returners in this season's NFL Draft and could be a versatile player for the Eagles. Beckham has appeared as the Eagles' pick in several of Mel Kiper's mock drafts.
The son of former LSU running back Odell Beckham Sr., the young Beckham was destined to play for the Tigers. He was heavily-involved as a true freshman wide receivers, playing in 14 games (with nine starts). He collected 41 receptions for 475 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Beckham also had a kickoff return average of 24 yards and a punt return average of 8.6 yards. He was selected to be the SEC Coaches' All-Freshman Team for his efforts.
Beckham was a full-time starter at wide receiver in his sophomore season. He also handled returns for a second straight season, averaging 15.8 yards per kickoff return and 9.1 yards per punt return with two touchdowns. As a receiver, Beckham played in 13 games (12 starts) and produced 43 catches for 713 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
As a junior, Beckham became dominant wide receiver. He had 53 receptions for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games. His season featured a three-touchdown performance against UAB and a 204-yard outing against Furman. Beckham averaged 8.4 yards per punt return and 26.4 yards on kick returns. He named a third-team AP All-American and a second-team All-SEC selection in his final season at LSU.
Beckham has some of the best hands you will see at the college level. He literally catches everything. There are some guys that only make awesome catches or just make wide-open bombs, but this guy does it all. It does not matter if the pass is contested, as he will likely come down with it. He is 6-foot and 207 pounds, but plays bigger and is not afraid of contact at all.
He has very good change of direction ability and has a shimmy to his shake. He runs very solid routes and can run every single one in the tree. He was used on reverses and ran well at LSU. He is a smart kick returner and does well on punt returns. He is a true offensive force on the field and score from anywhere. He is also is extremely good at jump balls for a guy of his size.
He does not get a ton of separation. He is forced to make contested catches simply because he does not get open with ease. His ability to catch the ball from anywhere makes this issue null and void at the college level, but could hurt him in the NFL. He is more quick than fast but does not have the long-end speed that you would probably like in a return man.
Ideally, the Eagles would re-sign one of their free agents and find a replacement for another. Beckham can play the slot or outside with ease, so he would be appealing no matter who they re-sign. He is probably ideal for the slot given his route prowess, hands and average size. He would easily be the best option on punt returns on the team if selected by the Eagles.
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