Brandt: Odell Beckham No. 1 among WRs from last two drafts

Odell Beckham, Jr., received a one-game suspension for his actions on Sunday, but where his standing among the NFL's young receivers is concerned, he's in no trouble at all. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt ranked the NFL's best receivers from the last two NFL drafts, and the New York Giants' second-year star was an easy choice at the top of the list.

"He's like Secretariat. He's run away from the pack, is what he's done. He's really done a great job," Brandt said.

Brandt said Beckham entered play Sunday with just three drops on the year among 85 catches, having been targeted 142 times, with nine catches and no drops in the red zone. Brandt took into consideration how they project for the future, as well as their talent and production, in evaluating the league's rookie and second-year receivers.

After Beckham, Brandt ranked the next 11 on his list this way:

Brandt tweeted the list late last week in two parts, and said he didn't intentionally omit Matthews, the Eagles' second-year pro from Vanderbilt. Landry, Beckham's former LSU teammate, has impressed Brandt despite averaging just 10 yards per catch.

"Landry is fast enough; he doesn't have Odell Beckham speed, but he's an all-around guy. (LSU offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron told me at LSU, if he drops a pass in practice even once a week, it turned their heads," Brandt said. "The guy has great hands."

Brandt said Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans and the Panthers' Kelvin Benjamin will need to improve their route-running skills to develop their full potential, but sees both as dangerous weapons due to their size and athleticism.

NFL teams selected 68 wide receivers in the last two NFL drafts, yet one receiver made Brandt's list as an undrafted free agent: Jaguars second-year pro Allen Hurns. Brandt said the group was difficult to judge because of varying quarterback play, noting that the Bills' Sammy Watkins has lacked the quarterback play that others benefit from.

According to Brandt, the entire group has accounted for only one red-zone drop this season. It's a strong contingent that only figures to be supported by more impressive draft classes in the future.



"The whole group is exceptional. I think we'll find this every year, more and more good receivers coming out that are ready to play, simply because they do such a good job now in the passing game in college," Brandt said. "And more than anything, all these guys play 7-on-7 (tournaments) in the summer time. They learn how to play the position, how to catch the ball, and I've never seen so many guys make these unbelievably tough catches."

In other words, it's Beckham and then everyone else, but everyone else is developing awfully well.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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