The Giants’ pick and front office spoke about the selection of Odell Beckham Jr. with the No. 12 pick. Read the transcriptions below…
Q: What’s your reaction to being a New York Giant?
A: I’m still trying to get everything in check. It’s an overwhelming experience. I’m so happy to be a Giant.
Q: What do you think you can bring to this offense right away?
A: I definitely think that I can come in and, if I get the opportunity to play, I could bring a lot of things – a deep threat or whatever the team needs me to do. Hopefully I get to return some punts and kicks.
Q: What do you think it will be like playing with Victor Cruz?
A: It’s going to be great. That’s kind of one of the guys who I style my game after and who I look up to, so to be able to learn from him and the other receivers that they have is just going to be, it definitely will help me improve my game.
Q: What about playing with Rueben Randle?
A: My big brother. He kind of taught me the ropes when I came into LSU and now I’m back with him again. It’s pretty incredible.
Q: What do you think about catching balls from Eli Manning and just tell us a little bit about what you’ve known about him growing up in the same high school (Isidore Newman).
A: I remember walking through the school and seeing his jersey, along with Peyton and the Mannings as well. Every single day it was just kind of motivation to me. I threw with them a couple times, so I know exactly what he has in store and what he has to offer. I’m really looking forward to getting back together with him.
Q: I know it’s been a whirlwind. Have you heard from Rueben yet?
A: Actually I don’t even have my phone with me right now. I heard from him earlier. He told me good luck but he didn’t tell me that they were going to pick me.
Q: Were you hoping that it was going to be the Giants? Did you have in your mind where you might fall in the first round? In your heart of hearts, did you say, ‘Boy, it would be great to be a Giant?’
A: Of course it would be great to be a Giant. I had no idea that I was going to get taken by them. Honestly I hadn’t heard much from them so it was all kind of just a blur to me.
Q: Do you consider yourself a number one receiver? Is that, obviously I would imagine, your goal?
A: To be the number one receiver for the Giants? There are guys there who already have themselves established. I’m really looking forward to coming in and competing, competing for a spot with these guys. Wherever I may fall, I may fall but at the end of the day you always want to be that number one as a competitor, in everything you do.
Q: What do you think you bring in the return game?
A: I’m definitely looking forward to doing punt returns. It’s kind of one of the things I love doing most, just being able to get the ball back there and just use your natural ability. You have guys out there blocking for you, it’s something that I look forward to doing.
Q: Who do you get your athletic ability from more, your father or your mother?
A: Obviously I don’t know. I guess genetically it’s split 50/50. My mom’s got a pretty good track history, my dad played football as well. I won’t make either one of them mad and I’ll say it was a 50/50.
Q: Did you bring enough stuff to stay in New York now or do you have to go back and get your belongings?
A: I’m definitely going to have to go home and come back. I did not bring enough stuff.
Q: Could this have worked out any better for you in terms of the draft? A week ago you were projected 18, 19. You end up 12 overall and you end up with the Giants. Could it have worked out any better for you at all?
A: Absolutely not. It couldn’t have worked out any better. It’s a perfect situation.
It was a really good pick for us. We obviously wanted to address the wide receiver position, as well as other positions. He was the highest guy on our board, number one, and he brings a lot to the table for us. He’s a dynamic receiver, dynamic punt returner and a dynamic kickoff returner. You are getting a guy that can score touchdowns in three different ways for you. There’s no way we would pass him up.
Q: Were you at all surprised at the way things panned out, I know you said Beckham was number one on your board, but were there other alternatives that could have helped you as well?
A: Yeah, there were a couple more guys up there that we talked about that we liked. Beckham had too much value and need for us at that spot. He is speed on the outside. There are guys he plays with in the SEC, that whatever side [Beckham] goes to, those guys back up. He is that big speed that you need on the outside that can go get that ball. He is almost pro-ready. We obviously think he is going to get better with pro coaching, but we think he is pro-ready now. He is a terrific route runner, and we love the pick.
Q: As you saw the way the round was going, were you really happy at 12 when you saw it was going the way you wanted?
A: I think it went well for us. They came off the board good for us. We were hoping a quarterback or two would go up there, and then when those secondary guys went, that pushed some guys down that we were talking about.
Q: Does the pick speak to the “punch” the offense needed after last year?
A: We are talking about the quarterback needing some help, and this guy is a weapon. He needs a weapon on the outside, and Victor [Cruz] is more of an inside receiver. Victor can’t play outside. Rueben Randle, [Jerrel] Jernigan, and we got Mario [Manningham] back, so we are trying to get the quarterback some weapons. You need weapons in this league. We think this guy is a weapon.
Q: Is [Beckham’s] size at 5-11 what you were looking for?
A: When you look at the Super Bowl, how tall were the receivers [the Seahawks] won with? Tall receivers don’t always correlate to Super Bowl wins. Would you love to have a 6-5 guy that can run routes, and do the things that [Beckham] can do? Sure, but I do not think you need to have that to win Super Bowls. Again I think the Seahawks showed that last year.
Q: Can you describe the emotion in the room when you realized you were going to get the guy that was number one on your board?
A: We just try to keep our composure in there. We saw that it was falling our way, but you never know. We have had several times where the guy that we want gets picked right in front of us. If somebody would have taken him, I think it was Tennessee who picked right in front of us, if they had taken him, we would have been happy with a couple of the other guys we had on our board there.
Q: Did you get any action on the phones for that pick?
A: We got a couple of phone calls, but nothing significant. It was just guys fishing around for cheap moves.
Q: When you pick this early what do you do for the rest of this round?
A: We will just look at it, and see if there is anyone on our board that we really like who starts to fall down. We could possibly trade back into the first round. We will monitor it and watch it and see what happens. If there is a guy up there who we feel can help take us to the next level, and we think we can move back up into the first round, then we would contemplate doing that.
Q: When was the first time you saw [Beckham]?
A: First time I saw him myself was on tape. Obviously we had scouts to see him all year long. We had a lot of eyes on him and I went to his pro day workout. I saw him at the Combine and he has been dynamic every time I have seen him.
Q: Did you talk to Rueben Randle much about [Beckham]?
A: No, I really did not talk to Rueben about him.
Q: But [Randle] knows him?
A: He played with him, so he knows him, but I talked to his coaches and people like that and the scouts obviously. I did a lot of homework on him. He comes from great genes. His mom was a track star and his dad played running back at LSU. He’s got good genes and he’s a good kid.
Q: Are there ever any concerns that two receivers can be too similar. [Beckham] said he models his game after Victor?
A: No, I do not worry about that. Victor is an inside receiver, [Beckham] is an outside receiver. [Beckham] has more speed than Victor on the outside. I don’t think they are similar, I think [Beckham] said he likes Victor because they are similar in size. He is a little bit taller than Victor maybe. His body type and the way he moves around on the field are what I think [Beckham] likes about Victor, but I think they are two different receivers.
Q: In former Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s offense, there was always an adjustment period with new receivers. With Ben [McAdoo] do you think [Beckham] can come in and contribute right away?
A: We hope so. Anytime you pick a guy at 12 you expect him to come in and be a contributor for you. He definitely can come in and be your first punt and kick returner right out of the gate. We think that this guy is a lump-in-your-throat kind of kick and punt returner. If he gets some blocks, he can go with it. That was very attractive because you are getting a two-for-one kind of guy. To answer your question, is he going to take some type of adjustment, all rookies take some adjustment to play up here, but we think he’s pretty close to get ready to go.
Q: You now have a pretty good group of receivers. Do you expect them to feed off each other?
A: I hope so. All the research and the word on [Beckham] is how hungry this guy is and he practices hard and works hard. All of the teams use the GPS like we use, and early in camp, they said his GPS registered from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. That is how hard he works. Because he does all of the special teams stuff as well, he gets a lot of mileage on his GPS. He has great stamina and is a hard worker and he’s a hungry guy. The comment I like most is when he comes in he feels like he is a number one wide receiver. He will work to try to prove that to people, so we like those things about him.
Q: You mentioned his return ability. How does he compare to the return guys you brought in during Free Agency?
A: It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. The more return guys you have in the building, the better. We haven’t had any in the building in some time. The more, the merrier. Whoever wins the job is fine with me, but we have some options there.
Q: How is his speed relative to the guys brought in during Free Agency?
A: [Trindon] Holliday is a fast guy. [Beckham] is a fast guy, but speed kills.
Q: Did you always think you were going to go offense first?
A: We try to stay with our board the best we can, and he was the highest player on our board then. It was an easy pick for us.
Q: Was it safe to say [Beckham] was a top-10 guy on your board?
A: That’s correct.
Q: Was it safe to say [Beckham] was a top-5 guy on your board.
A: Not safe to say that.
We’re excited, let’s put it that way. This particular individual was somebody that, quite frankly, we favored on the board all along. We had a great impression by him in Indianapolis, the scouts stood up for him. He is a guy that can run kicks back, run punts back, play the wide receiver position. He has great speed, he’s polished, he’s talented, he has big hands, he has played at the top of the level in college football. His head coach speaks very, very highly of him as a worker in addition, as a great example to the other receivers, so we felt like this is someone who would help us a great deal to put the ball in the end zone, be a guy that we can count on to help us score some points, be another weapon that we can utilize as a wide receiver but in addition we can certainly feature him in the kicking game as well. This was one of those deals where you speculate right away as to how they’re going to come off the board. There were a couple of things up there that looked like we had a chance to get the players that we wanted in position there and so when we had the opportunity to pick Beckham we were certainly excited about doing that.
Q: How do you think he compliments Victor Cruz as far as his size and his speed?
A: Speed, again, the ability to make the big play. He’s a crafty route runner; he has a lot of polish with regard to that. He has very good stamina. I think he’ll do a great job in the receiver room. I think he’ll be on the same page with the quarterback right away. He’s intelligent and he’s excited to be here.
Q: You must have been pretty pleased with each pick. If this guy is, you know, going to be there.
A: A lot of the picks were… you set them up that way. The first round looked a lot like that. There were a couple things that happened, the trade coming when it did with Cleveland going back. For the most part it went pretty much the way we thought it would. A couple of the things that happened up there made us feel like the players that we wanted to be in position when we picked would be there and they were, at least two of them were.
Q: When you look at this draft, was getting weapons for Eli a pretty big priority for you?
A: That was a priority. Obviously we did some work in the offensive line in the free agency period, but you know, you look at your roster and you think in terms of how can we put ourselves in position again to be a high-scoring team. The good thing, I would think, as an offensive player coming in here is our veterans have a three-week head start on the rookies, which is not much in learning a new system. I think for a young man of Odell’s skill and his level of intelligence, that he will pick this up relatively quickly.
Q: Can you just speak to already being excited about your offense heading into next year? It took enough criticism coming out of last season so is there a potential for a whole different level of…?
A: Well, obviously we’re excited to think that. I’m not much of a talker, I would rather see us be productive and then talk about it. We’re trying to get there and we’re making progress.
Q: Receivers in this offense, in the offense before, sometimes had trouble getting on the field right away, very technical, a lot of things they haven’t learned. Given the fact that you have a new offense and what you said about this player, do you think an impact right away is very possible?
A: I think you take that position right now with every guy that comes in the door. They better all contribute right away, whether it be on special teams, defense, offense, whatever it is they’re going to be… there’s no waiting around in this game today. We will expect right throughout the draft that there will be a strong contribution from each of the players that select and hopefully it will create the kind of competition that we need as well.
Q: Was Beckham the guy that you had targeted as you were mapping it down?
A: He was one of them, yeah.
Q: As the whole round went on, the first 11 picks, it seemed like everyone was very happy with the way it transpired.
A: Us? Yeah, for sure. We always, when we meet leading up to the draft, have scenarios that we go over. This was one of the scenarios that we talked about a lot: if these two guys, three guys, four guys that we had there, if they were there, what we would do. It kind of fell the way we thought it would.
Q: Why did he jump off the screen for this football franchise?
A: Well, I mean, we think he’s a dynamic receiver and returner, by far the most versatile receiver in the draft. He can make explosive plays in a variety of ways – receiving, punt returns, kick returns. He’s polished, smart, great work ethic, so he just fit all the criteria that we look for.
Q: Are you sure he has the size for the outside?
A: Sure. He’s not the biggest guy in the draft but his size is fine. There are plenty of receivers that have been extremely successful with similar size. But he can play slot, he can play outside, move him around and he’s done that.
Q: As you look at fixing an offense that John Mara mentioned was broken a few months ago, was what you did in free agency and the particular pick tonight, what do you feel better about the offense right now compared to before all of this?
A: Before the offseason and the draft tonight? I think we’ve gotten better. We’ve solidified the line with some of the free agent signings, we definitely think we’ve gotten a playmaker for our offense tonight and helped out our return game, putting our offense in great field position with Odell being a returner and some of the return guys that we signed in the offseason. So overall, obviously, we’re happy with what we’ve done but there’s still a lot of work to be done and it’s got to play out on the field.
Q: Tom mentioned that Beckham’s interview at the combine was outstanding. You’re nodding. What do you remember about it?
A: When we do those interviews, certain ones stick out as soon as you come in the room, the way they carry themselves, the way they communicate, the way they talk about football. Those are the things we look for. He was outstanding. A humble guy, great upbringing, great pedigree and just talking film, talking football with him, he was one of the sharpest ones that we had.
Q: Usually receivers have a little bit of diva in them. Does this kid have that personality or do you think he’s a little different?
A: Not really. He’s a worker. I wouldn’t call him a diva; I would call him a worker. He loves to compete, he loves to train, he loves to practice, he can run all day. So he’s a worker.
Q: Do you think he’s like anybody? Any other receivers?
A: No. He was one of our ‘watch’ guys. Certain players, ‘Oh yeah,’ instantly but him, him, to us, to me, I think he kind of has a unique skill set. Nobody that immediately I thought of.
Q: Was it a tough call when you were on the clock with him and maybe one other guy?
A: No. We always talk about guys but he was the highest guy on our board, so it makes it easy, at a position that we thought that we could get better at so it made it easy.