Odell Beckham Jr. may have more connections to the Giants than any other player in the 2014 draft class. He attended Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, playing in the same program that produced Eli Manning. He went on to LSU, where he was Rueben Randle's teammate. And the NFL receiver he most tries to model his game after is Victor Cruz.
There's really just one connection missing: Becoming a Giant himself.
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"If that's where I ended up," Beckham said at an NFL Play 60 event in Manhattan on Wednesday, "it would be great."
The Giants would probably think so, too. The issue will be having him available when the Giants pick. There will be stiff competition, some of it from the Jets who seem very interested in Beckham and already are stinging from losing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Giants via free agency. Losing another coveted player to the Giants could trigger them to jump ahead of the Giants with a trade in Thursday's first round.
The Giants like Beckham, but probably not enough to trade up to get him.
"I talk to Rueben every day," Beckham said, "and he says they're interested and if they can get me they'll get me."
Landing a playmaker such as Beckham would be a coup for the Giants, giving them the speed that they lacked last season from Randle and Hakeem Nicks. Plus, he already has that relationship with Manning.
Beckham was a quarterback when he was at Newman, following in the footsteps of Eli and Peyton Manning, and he even went to the Manning Passing Academy two years in a row and got to work with the brothers. He also worked with them when he was in high school.
"It's like, you don't even have to do much," he said of catching passes from a Manning. "You just run your route and the ball is going to be right where it needs to be."
Beckham may need to be available at 12 for the Giants to make a similarly effortless pick. Other than that caveat, he seems to think it would be a great match.
"The quarterback went to the same high school, I got a wide receiver up there who I went to school with, and another wide receiver up there who I look up to who would be one of my mentors if I went up there," Beckham said. "I'm really just looking forward to wherever I land and the opportunity to be in the NFL."
Notes & quotes: TE Eric Ebron (North Carolina) compared his game to Vernon Davis' and said if he's drafted by the Giants he would "force them to open up their playbook a little bit more with my talents and my skills for them to do things like that." . . . T Taylor Lewan (Michigan) is confident he'll be exonerated from the three misdemeanor assault charges he is facing, but said he may have to leave whichever team drafts him for a day to appear at an arraignment in Michigan on May 19 . . . LB Anthony Barr (UCLA), appearing at a Subway event in New York, said he's more comfortable standing up in a 3-4 scheme and he has not heard from the Giants during the pre-draft process, so likely scratch him off your list of Big Blue possibilities.