The Cleveland Browns offense went to a new level this offseason with the acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
During his five years with the New York Giants, Beckham put up numbers that average out to 105 receptions, 1,485 yards and 12 touchdowns over a 16-game season. He was limited the past two seasons, however, as injuries meant that he only played a total of 16 combined games.
Not helping matters was that Beckham was also playing with Eli Manning, a quarterback with a diminishing skill set.
That all will change this fall as Beckham will be teamed up with quarterback Baker Mayfield, which is one of the reasons why Beckham is in the discussion as one of the league’s best wide receivers, according to Robert Mays at The Ringer:
When Beckham was at his best during his first three seasons, he was nearly unstoppable at running slants. And even though he was still a terror on inside-breaking routes last season, his ability to attack defenses in a variety of ways was hampered by Manning’s issues throwing downfield. Among 24 quarterbacks with at least 50 percent of their team’s deep targets last season (20-plus yards downfield), Manning ranked 17th in accuracy rate at 39.2 percent, according to Pro Football Focus. Compare those numbers with those of Baker Mayfield, who finished behind only Drew Brees—and just ahead of Patrick Mahomes II—at 51.4 percent. It’s not a stretch to say that the 2019 version of Mayfield may be the best QB that Beckham has had in his career. When Beckham is healthy, he’s one of the rare receivers that can create opportunities from virtually any position at every level of the field. And now, he has a quarterback with the ability to accurately place throws all over the place. Most people probably wouldn’t choose Beckham for top among this group right now, but by the end of the year, I wouldn’t be surprised if people return to seeing him as arguably the best wideout in the league.
Beckham may not become the first player in franchise history to surpass 100 receptions in a single season given that the Browns have more than one talented option on offense. He could, however, become just the fourth player to catch at least 10 touchdowns in a single season, joining Gary Collins (four times), Paul Warfield (twice) and Braylon Edwards (once).
But no matter the final numbers, if he stays healthy Beckham should certainly re-claim his place among the discussion about who is the league’s best wide receiver.