The reviews are already in on rookie Sterling Shepard, this after just one game as an NFL wide receiver. And the feedback is glowing from no less than Odell Beckham Jr.
Sterling was rather solid for the New York Giants in Week 1, his three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown helped key a 20-19 win at the Dallas Cowboys. But it is his body of work from rookie minicamp now entering the second week of the season that has the Giants optimistic about his impact down the road.
A second round pick from Oklahoma in this spring’s NFL Draft, Shepard projects to be a key for the Giants in the slot. When asked his initial take on the rookie wideout, Beckham raved about Shepard’s Week 1 performance. It was high praise from the Pro Bowl wide receiver, considered among the best wide receivers in the NFL.
“What did you see? I know what I saw. I think he’s going to be a phenomenal player,” Beckham said. “Catch everything that comes his way. He’ll go up and get it. Just looking forward to seeing him progress.”
On Sunday, Beckham had four catches for 73 yards to lead all Giants wide receivers.
Also impressed was fellow wide receiver Victor Cruz, who returned to the field on Sunday after missing the entirety of the 2015 season with injuries. His reaction following the Week 1 win was joy at the potential of what could be a very good passing offense.
Beckham alongside an emerging Shepard and a healthy Cruz would be tough for defenses to stop.
“Just smiling, man, because I just understand that if all of us are healthy and all of us are on the same page, we can do some pretty great things,” Cruz said on Wednesday. “So we are just excited about the opportunity to play with one another and continue to excel and progress with each and every week.”