Let’s get this out of the way: the New York Giants should not have traded Odell Beckham Jr. I actually believe that the compensation they received back from Cleveland is fair. Amari Cooper only fetched a single first-round pick while on a rookie contract. Odell is on an expensive contract, and received a third round pick and an ascending young player at a position of need. But the compensation really isn’t the issue here.
Elite talent is hard to come by, and Odell’s talent is elite. You shouldn’t trade elite talent, even if the compensation is fair. On top of that, now the Giants have to pay $19 million is dead cap. Paying that much money for an elite player to not be on your roster? Just, why?
That’s really neither here nor there, though. Common sense tells you that the Giants shouldn’t have made this trade, but they did. So now the Giants question will be how they “replace” him on their depth chart. I say “replace” because there is really no replacing a player like Odell. The Giants will do their damndest, and will likely look to the NFL Draft for their answer.
Left on their roster is primary slot receiver Sterling Shepard and mid-season addition Corey Coleman, who the Giants recently placed a first-round tender on. They view these two young receivers as future contributors. With that said, they need a versatile and explosive player to round out their top three, one that projects to play along the boundary.
Gary Jennings Jr., West Virginia
West Virginia’s Gary Jennings Jr. operated as a slot and underneath threat as a junior. During his senior season, he became more of a vertical and downfield receiver. With his speed off the line of scrimmage, verified by his 4.42s 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, he offers a presence in the third level of the field that the Giants do not currently have.
At the Senior Bowl, his press releases and straight-line speed showed out during practices. On film, those traits led to his 17 yards per catch and 13 touchdowns in 2018. While few players have the explosiveness of Odell Beckham Jr., Jennings can help take the top off the defense.
Emanuel Hall, Missouri
Missouri’s Emmanuel Hall got injured halfway through his last collegiate season, but showed a lot of potential in limited action. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he tore up all of the explosiveness and agility drills. His 4.39s 40-yard dash, 43.5 inch vertical jump, and 141 inch broad jump speaks to his untapped potential.
With good size at 6’2 and over 200 pounds, route breaks that can be a blur, and explosiveness after the catch, he has the ceiling of a WR1 for an NFL franchise. While Hall is a bit raw at catching the ball, he was another vertical presence at Missouri, averaging 23.5 yards per catch over the last two seasons.
Miles Boykin, Notre Dame
Notre Dame’s Miles Boykin had one of was one of the biggest risers from the NFL Scouting Combine. At nearly 6’4, 220 pounds with elite level athleticism (4.42s 40 yard dash, 43.5 inch vertical jump, 140 inch broad jump, and 6.73s three-cone drill), he has more potential than I initially saw on film.
Operating along the boundary with strong hands and possession traits, NFL teams will see a developmental prospect. If they can harness his athleticism, Boykin has the potential of a pro bowl receiver that could be selected in the middle rounds.