Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard, they come together to form what easily one of the best wide receiving corps in the NFL. But the question is can they be the best trio of wideouts in the NFL.
With teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and the Atlanta Falcons. It would certainly be quite an accomplishment for the G-Men to have the best group of wide receivers.
The headliner of the Giants group is without a doubt Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and already one of the best in Giants history to play the position. After three seasons, and three Pro Bowl selections, big things are expected from the Madden NFL 16 cover athlete.
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With the new weapons added to the offense, the stud should be seeing less attention from opposing defenses. That should give the Louisiana native the opportunity to have one of the best seasons of his career. However, the new additions could also sap his targets, and thus his stats.
Nonetheless, Beckham Jr. is a lock for at least 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns as long as he remains healthy. Yes, this is despite him missing voluntary OTAs.
With one of the top talents in the NFL, the position group is already one of the tops in the NFL.
The newest of the trio is Brandon Marshall, the former crosstown rival. After playing two seasons with the Jets, he was released and made his way to Big Blue. The six-time Pro Bowler brings an element of physicality and height that the Giants have lacked for a long time.
While Marshall may be up there in age (He is 33 years old), his style of play ages like a fine wine. Unlike in recent years, the ex-Jet will not be asked to be the top receiver in this offense, he should be the number two option. However, expect his touchdowns to exceed last year’s total of three, he should get around eight touchdown grabs when it is all said and done.
This past season, the former Central Florida wideout had one of his worst seasons in recent memory. Marshall’s main issues came from catching the ball. He only recorded a catch on 46.1% of his targets, by far a career low. This includes eight drops and a drop percentage of 6.3%. If the Pittsburgh native is to be productive during his two-year tenure with the Giants, he has to reduce his drops.
2016 second rounder Sterling Shepard rounds out the group. While Marshall and Beckham are both primarily outside options, the Oklahoma St. grad is a slot receiver. Since the Giants spent about 90% of their snaps in the 11 personal the past season, Shepard saw a lot of playing time. Which is impressive for a rookie.
While Shepard played a lot, he was mostly an average player. Do not get me wrong, it is very good to have a rookie be an average player, but in his sophomore season, the receiver is poised to take a step forward.
If there is one thing that the former Sooner can do it is run crisp routes. Those routes led to eight touchdowns and 683 yards. In addition, he should continue his development in year two as a Giant, as long as he is consistent. With other weapons requiring attention, Shepard could have a sneaky good season.
Now let’s compare the other top wide receiver trios to the Giants.
The New England Patriots certainly have the depth to have one of the best wide receiving corps in the league, but they lack a true star. Their top wideout is either Brandin Cooks or Julian Edelman, neither of which keep defensive coordinators up at night.
On the other hand, the Atlanta Falcons have a stud in Julio Jones and a good number two in Mohamed Sanu. Taylor Gabriel’s speed is just as good as Shepard’s crisp routes. If all three perform like they did last year, they will once again be a strong group.
There is no doubt that the Pittsburgh Steelers own one of the best group of wideouts. With Antonio Brown, they also have the star power. However, with Martavis Bryant being a question mark from suspension, they take a hit in how good the group can truly be.
The New York Giants trio of Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard has the star power and the depth to have one of the best trios of wideouts in the league. However, it remains to be seen if they will be able to fulfill their potential due to limitations at offensive line and quarterback.