Odell Beckham Jr. will try to replace an element lost when Hakeem Nicks signed with the Colts this offseason. Credit: Getty Images
The Giants’ first-team offense has scored just one touchdown in two preseason games, and rookie first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. has yet to take a snap in either.
But that isn’t keeping him from placing his team among the league’s elite.
“It has potential to be, if not the best, one of the best in the league,” Beckham said Tuesday. “When you have a receiving corps like we do and a great quarterback along with the backfield and the tight ends and much improvement from the offensive line, I don’t see anything but being one of the best in the league.”
Beckham has yet to even take part in practice in full after straining his hamstring on the first day of training camp. But head coach Tom Coughlin said the rookie could play in the third preseason game.
“He’s building up,” Coughlin said. “He had a few snaps today — not many, but a few.”
“It feels good,” Beckham said. “It feels good to be able to move around. Like I said, it’s not 100 percent, it’s not full strength. I couldn’t even give you a percentage of how I was running yesterday, but slowly but surely, it will get back to where it needs to be.”
The receiver should bring elite speed to the position, and tremendous burst after the catch. Coughlin went as far as to put more pressure than the head coach usually does on a rookie, saying he will play a big part in the offense getting on the same page as a whole. But he needs his hamstring to be fully healthy in order to show what he is capable of bringing to the offense.
“Beckham will be a big part of it once he gets back,” Coughlin said. “We have a lot of people trying it. I think that once we get Beckham back out there, I think it’ll crystallize for us.”
The Giants let longtime offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride walk at the end of last season and hired Ben McAdoo to install a new West Coast-style offense. The returns have been unimpressive so far.
Quarterback Eli Manning is 6-of-9 for 43 yards and has been sacked twice and fumbled once in the Giants’ first two preseason outings.
“Monday night in Detroit [for Week 1], we need to be 100 percent ready to go,” McAdoo said Tuesday. “We’re not there yet. We’re making small strides.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter@MetroNYSports.