Rex Ryan says he tried to trade for New York Giants star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014.
The Giants have since struck solid gold with OBJ, who they selected 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Beckham’s success came only after he missed the entire 2014 preseason and first four games of his rookie season while on the mend from a hamstring injury. It was during Beckham’s injury period that Ryan said he took a noted interest in the receiver.
This is Ryan’s recollection of events, which was prompted after discussing Buffalo Bills receiver Sammy Watkins’ injury with Don Banks of Sports Illustrated.
“Has he missed a little time? Yeah. Big deal. He and everyone else. The [Odell] Beckham kid came out the same year, and he missed how many games with a hamstring issue? Believe me, I was trying to trade for him [with the Jets] when he had the hamstring. I was reading the [New York] papers, and I was like, ‘Well, hell, we’ll take him.”
In 2014, the Jets had the 18th pick in the NFL Draft and chose safety Calvin Pryor. Had Ryan’s Jets picked ahead of the Giants, would they have selected Beckham? That’s a question that Ryan didn’t exactly provide an answer to.
The Jets did draft receivers Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans in the fourth round and Quincy Enunwa in Round 6 that year. At this time, only Enunwa remains with the Jets.
Regarding Ryan, it is kind of difficult to tell from his story how far his communication went with the Giants regarding Beckham. Or perhaps it was just a case of Ryan thinking out loud.
After missing the first four games of 2014, Beckham won Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the cover to Madden NFL 2015.
Needless to say, the success Beckham enjoyed in his rookie season may not played out the same had he been catching balls from Geno Smith and Michael Vick as a member of Ryan’s Jets.