Around the League

Presented By

Chip Kelly: Eagles had Odell Beckham as draft's top WR

The last time the Eagles met the Giants in Week 6, Chip Kelly revealed that rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham was a player Philadelphia targeted leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

With the two teams set to square off again in the regular-season finale, Kelly now says he had Beckham rated above Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans as the class' top receiver.

"In my opinion, I thought he was the best in the draft," Kelly said, via Jordan Raanan of "I think he's showing people that."

Although Watkins and Evans were the consensus top receivers available, Beckham was viewed as a world-class athlete as well as the lone NFL-ready route runner.

Those skills have translated to the most impressive rookie season by a rookie wide receiver since Randy Moss exploded on the scene in 1998.

Beckham has joined Hall of Famer Don Hutson as the only receivers in NFL history to register at least 1,100 yards in 11 or fewer games. In the first eight starts of his career, Beckham has averaged 8.6 receptions, 126.8 yards and a touchdown per game -- numbers no wide receiver has ever matched over a full season.

"I haven't seen a young receiver like this explode this way without much practice time in my entire life," NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock raved last week.

If the 2014 NFL Draft was conducted again, there's a strong chance Beckham would go off the board with the No. 1 pick.

Beckham has been so dominant so early that defenses are already sending double teams his way, as the Ramsdid unsuccessfully in Week 16.

As a result, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is getting more creative with his high-octane weapon of defensive back destruction.

"They're obviously moving him around more," Kelly explained. "You have to know where he is at all times. They're obviously putting him in more positions."

Beckham is the rare rookie capable of running crisp routes from both outside spots as well as the slot. His primary alignment, however, is on the right side, which just happens to be opposite Eagles cornerback -- and frequent burn victim -- Bradley Fletcher.

Beckham is set up to serve Kelly one final rookie-year reminder of the coach's prescience.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content


See all the Action

Replay every game all season.