Reputation trumps statistics in Pro Bowl selections, just ask Odell Beckham Jr

Picking linemen for the Pro Bowl can be tricky but when it comes to the “skill” players – quarterbacks, receivers, running backs – it should be black and white. Statistics do not lie, writes Aaron Gray.
Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, right, makes a one-handed catch for a touchdown against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr during an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, right, makes a one-handed catch for a touchdown against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr during an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

When it comes to selecting standout players for the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl, reputation can sometimes supersede output, which is a hard lesson New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr learnt this week.

Read more: An attractive package deal on offer for the Green Bay Packers

Beckham missed the first four games of the season with a hamstring injury but made an unprecedented splash in the second half of the year. Every NFL fan with access to the internet has seen “the catch” – a back-pedalling, one-handed touchdown grab against Dallas that fascinated the football world.

Besides that, he also has managed to fill up the stat sheet.

Unfortunately, despite having the 13th most receiving yards in the league (1,120), being tied for the fourth-most touchdown catches (11) and ranking third in receiving yards per game (101.8), Beckham was snubbed for the Pro Bowl at the expense of Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, who ranks 16th in receiving yards (1,038) and has just six touchdowns.

Even though the veteran Lions receiver is a future Hall of Famer, this year’s Pro Bowl selection was a pick made on reputation.

The same argument can be made for Cincinnati’s AJ Green, who has 959 yards this season but is also headed to the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Picking linemen for the Pro Bowl can be tricky but when it comes to the “skill” players – quarterbacks, receivers, running backs – it should be black and white. Statistics do not lie.

Maybe next year for the 22-year-old Beckham.

agray@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

SHARE