LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been one of my favorite draft prospects for quite some time, and I ranked him as the second-best WR prospect overall in a piece yesterday, and he’s always jumped out to me on film. Beckham Jr. is so good that the Philadelphia Eagles are actually considering a trade up to the middle of the first round to get him despite the depth at WR in this class and their lack of a huge need for one (they could use a WR, but they don’t have to pay premium after re-signing Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin).
According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Odell Beckham Jr. and rising Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker prospect Ryan Shazier are two players who could go “a little higher than people think” in this year’s draft. Shazier’s stock has skyrocketed recently, and he has incredible speed and agility for a linebacker. An excellent fit as a 4-3 OLB with the ability to play inside in either scheme, Shazier has elite coverage skills and range at the position. He’s a lock for the first round, and the Denver Broncos are probably begging for him to fall to 31. On a side note, Florida State’s Telvin Smith would be a solid backup plan for a team that misses out on Shazier, who is definitely a name to watch for on Thursday.
Beckham Jr. might be out of range for the Eagles even if they do trade up into the middle of the first, because he has a very good chance of going in the top ten. Even though most people have Mike Evans over him, Beckham Jr. is such a well-rounded prospect, and he isn’t far behind Sammy Watkins overall. He can line up anywhere, win anywhere, high-point the ball, gain YAC, cut on a dime, and provide a team with a big spark on returns.