Thirty eight #NFL games into his career and Odell Beckham Jr. has built quite a resume. As of now, OBJ has racked up 252 receptions, 3,670 yards, and 33 Touchdowns. Through his first 38 games, OBJ is 1st in receiving yards, 5th in TD's, and 2nd in total receptions, according to Max Kellerman of ESPN.
Disclaimer: I am a Giants fan. I've reserved judgment on this topic, being that OBJ is just in his 3rd year. However, enough is enough. I'll prove to you why OBJ is the best receiver in the NFL.
AJ Green. The Pro Bowl Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver has been a model of consistency in his 6 year career and is a top 5 receiver in the NFL. Through his first 38 games, AJ totaled 199 receptions, 2,871 yards, and 22 total touchdowns. In comparison, OBJ had 53 more receptions, 799 more reception yards, and 11 more touchdowns.
Julio Jones. Some would argue the Atlanta Falcons receiver is the best wide receiver in the NFL, because his combination of size (6'3" - 220) and speed (4.39 second 40 yard dash). To get an idea of how fast that is, OBJ ran a 4.43 and Antonio Brown ran a 4.47. Through Julio's first 38 games, he racked up 181 receptions, 1,264 reception yards, and 20 touchdowns. In comparison, OBJ had 71 more receptions, 2,406 more receiving yards, and 13 more touchdowns.
Antonio Brown. If Julio Jones isn't your number 1 choice, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is. Considered the best route runner in the NFL, Antonio Brown has been unstoppable. To make it fair, I didn't count Brown's first 8 games in 2010, as the numbers were pedestrian. In 38 games starting from Brown sophomore's season, he racked up 182 receptions, 2,443 receiving yards, and 9 total touchdowns. In comparison, OBJ had 70 more receptions, 1,227 more receiving yards, and 24 more touchdowns.
All time competition?
Cris Carter. Playing in the Jerry Rice era, it's easy to be overlooked. However, Cris Carter is a Hall of Fame wide receiver and put up some huge numbers. I excluded his first season, since he only managed 5 receptions in his first 9 games. To make it more favorable, I gathered Carter's numbers through his first 3 full seasons (48 games). He racked up 111 receptions, 1,779 reception yards, and 20 touchdowns.
Randy Moss. If it weren't for Jerry Rice, many would say that Randy Moss was the greatest receiver to ever live. Randy went deep, the defense would know he was going deep, and he still smoked you. In Randy's first 32 games, he racked up 149 receptions, 2,726 receiving yards, and 28 touchdowns. In comparison, OBJ racked up 183 receptions, 2,668 receiving yards, and 21 touchdowns. Through 32 games, OBJ's numbers are on par with Randy's, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Jerry Rice. The Michael Jordan of the NFL, is widely considered the greatest wide receiver to ever play in the NFL. Through Jerry's first 32 games, he racked up 135 receptions, 2,497 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns. By this metric, OBJ had a better rookie and sophomore season than anyone not named Randy Moss.
I am well aware that Odell Beckham is just in his 3rd full season, and things may change. If your counter argument is that OBJ can suffer catastrophic knee injuries that will plague the rest of his career, you'd be right. We are now more than halfway into his 3rd season, and OBJ is on pace to have another career year. This means that the argument "people will watch film and cover him better" is invalid. It's been 38 games worth of film, and if they haven't figured it out by now, they never will.
As of right now, I believe that Odell Beckham Jr is the best receiver in the NFL. If you believe that AJ, Julio or Antonio are better, i'd respect your decision. However, those guys are in their 6th and 7th NFL season, and didn't start producing until their 2nd or 3rd season. Barring injury (of course), Odell Beckham will go down as one of the 3 best receivers to ever play in the NFL. #OdellBeckhamJr #antoniobrown