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Odell Beckham and SEC Touchdowns


I’m sure you guys are sick of hearing about this, so I’m going to keep it brief. As I mentioned here, Odell Beckham had only 2 SEC touchdowns in his final season at LSU and was consistently outproduced by Jarvis Landry. Raw statistics are not the end all, be all, but it is very concerning that in his entire SEC career, Beckham only scored in 2 games, both of which were 26+ point blowouts (yes, this tweet is famous). But… does that really matter? I mean, if it doesn’t, there should be some other players who are highly drafted and panned out in the NFL who didn’t score very many touchdowns in their final season of college versus their college conference, right?

This table is a list of all WR’s drafted in the top 15 since 2001 and their final season TD tally, in conference.

Year Rnd Pick Player Tm Senior Season Conference Rec TD’s
2013 1 8 Tavon Austin STL 7
2012 1 5 Justin Blackmon JAX 12
2012 1 13 Michael Floyd ARI 9 (vs FBS)
2011 1 4 A.J. Green CIN 7
2011 1 6 Julio Jones ATL 3
2009 1 7 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK 2
2009 1 10 Michael Crabtree SFO 12
2007 1 2 Calvin Johnson DET 10
2007 1 9 Ted Ginn MIA 3
2005 1 3 Braylon Edwards CLE 8
2005 1 7 Troy Williamson MIN 4
2005 1 10 Mike Williams DET 12
2004 1 3 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 11
2004 1 7 Roy Williams DET 3
2004 1 9 Reggie Williams JAX 5
2004 1 13 Lee Evans BUF 8
2004 1 15 Michael Clayton TAM 6
2003 1 2 Charles Rogers DET 7
2003 1 3 Andre Johnson HOU 7
2002 1 13 Donte’ Stallworth NOR 5
2001 1 8 David Terrell CHI 10
2001 1 9 Koren Robinson SEA 9
2001 1 15 Rod Gardner WAS 4

The only WR who caught the same amount of TD’s in conference in their final season was… Darrius Heyward Bey. I know how much all of you guys love DHB; so, uh, that’s probably not a great signifier that ODB will be able to overcome his lack of size and production.

The name that ODB-defenders are going to immediately go to is Julio Jones. They both played in the SEC, even though they are much differently sized, and certainly play differently, but let’s see if there are any similarities between the reasons they didn’t score much. This is a table displaying the run/pass splits in the SEC of Julio (ALA) and ODB’s (LSU) respective teams.

33.5 29.6 63.1 26.3 39.6 65.9

I don’t have access to red zone splits at the moment, but it would appear that Julio basically got 3 extra shots per game to score. LSU clearly ran the ball a dramatic amount, and that is something his supporters have been quick to note, while somehow forgetting that Jarvis Landry (a much worse athlete than ODB) doubled his SEC production total in 2013.

The other names on this last that jump out as not scoring very many TD’s are Roy Williams (bust), Ted Ginn (bust), Troy Williamson (Bust), and Rod Gardner (probably not a bust, but only 1 season with >1000 yards). In any case, certainly not a list that anyone wants to be on. So is ODB the worst 1st round WR pick this decade? I mean… probably not, but it should be scary to his potential fantasy owners that he is in this conversation. He doesn’t have the size or athletic profile that you want from a first round pick, he didn’t land with an elite QB, and he didn’t have a track record of even being the best WR on his own team in college.

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