BIRMINGHAM -- Tiger Sports Digest's Ben Love discusses how LSU's receiving corps and tight ends…
No. 10 - Odell Beckham Jr.
No. 10 – WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Kicking off the top 10 on TSD's countdown of the 50 best LSU players for 2013 is junior wide-out Odell Beckham Jr. The Newman product is the second-highest rated receiver on our list, ahead of the following who've already come off the board: Travin Dural (No. 17), Quantavius Leslie (No. 28), Kadron Boone (No. 30) and James Wright (No. 48). And, compared to that group, Beckham is easily the most decorated and accomplished receiver.
As a true freshman in 2011, Beckham hauled in 41 balls for 475 yards and two touchdowns. A year ago, taking on a bigger role, Beckham (6-foot, 187 pounds) led LSU in receiving yards with 713 on 43 receptions, two of which went for touchdowns. Although he's rarely found the end zone, Beckham did raise his average yards per reception from 11.6 to 16.6 from 2011 to 2012. He also took over duties as the primary punt returner last fall, bringing two back for touchdowns. There's no question Beckham is one of LSU's most dangerous and versatile weapons entering 2013.
By The Numbers
Beckham's highest ranking: 11th
Beckham's lowest ranking: 13th
Why this ranking is too high
Beckham did have a productive 2012 season, but the campaign wasn't without its share of pitfalls. He fumbled early in the Washington game on a special teams return and again at Florida after what would've been a crucial catch-and-run into Gator territory. Beckham also sprinkled a few drops into the mix during his sophomore season. The player seemed to have put many of those issues with consistency behind him by season's end, but his resolve will again be tested in 2013 as one of the leaders on LSU's offense.
Why this ranking is too low
There probably isn't any one player on LSU's team more dangerous with the ball in his hands than Beckham. Plus, he features in so many different ways for the Tigers – wide receiver, punt returner and kick returner. Beckham was even involved with some Wildcat snaps during spring practice recently as the player sprinting across the formation and giving a horizontal rushing threat. Considering a large number of players to date on this countdown have been ranked on potential, Beckham has been there and done it all already in an LSU uniform. That experience counts for a lot.
View TSD's Top 50 to date
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