Hoge’s Bears Big Board: No. 15 Odell Beckham Jr.
By Adam Hoge-
(CBS) — A look at the top 20 NFL Draft prospects that could be on the Bears’ radar, based on projected availability, position of need and player skill:
WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
College Career: Paul Hornung Award Winner (nation’s most versatile player) in 2013. Averaged 178.1 all-purpose yards per game this past season. Of his 15 career touchdowns, 12 of them were 25 yards or longer. The three-year starter caught at least one pass in 37 of 39 college games. Didn’t miss a game in his college career.
Strengths: Home-run hitter. Plays bigger than his listed size. Has good strength and long arms to battle for footballs in the air. Good leaping ability and will go up to get it. Plucks the ball with his hands. Fights through contact at the line of scrimmage and can handle press coverage. Useful on end-arounds. Battle-tested in the SEC. Fast, decisive kick/punt returner, but can get run down from behind.
Weaknesses: Lack of height will keep him out of some plays. Doesn’t catch everything and doesn’t fight for every ball. Route-running and blocking could improve. Ideally suited in the slot, but could be a productive No. 2 receiver on a team with a No. 1 who commands double-teams.
Bears Outlook: Beckham would be scary as a slot receiver with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the field at the same time. It will take much more than a nickel corner to keep him away from the ball, so in the right situation, he’ll have a ton of success at the next level. Beckham is a first-round talent though, and I can’t see the Bears using a first round pick on a wide receiver when they believe Marquess Wilson can develop into a solid No. 3. If the Bears somehow ended up with a second first-rounder or Beckham somehow slipped in the second-round, he could end up in Chicago, but that’s a longshot.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.