By: Dave Browne
The 2021 wide receiver draft class is nothing short of rich in talent. It may not quite live up to the wide receiver in the 2020 class, but there is still plenty of skill to be had. Teams must decide if they want to pay a premium in the draft to acquire a top-flight prospect or utilize their draft capital via trade to acquire a proven commodity like Odell Beckham Jr. Make no mistake about it, Odell Beckham Jr. is out to prove that he is still one of the best wide receivers in the NFL after dealing with a myriad of injuries and inconsistencies. Beckham Jr. may have the quietest two seasons of 1,000 plus yards in his last two healthy seasons.
One could question his role in Cleveland Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s run-based offense. Beckham Jr. has the talent to thrive in any offense, but there are limitations that hinder his upside. To Beckham’s credit, he has not complained, at least not publicly. If the Browns were to listen on trade offers, here are three teams that make sense to acquire Beckham Jr.
Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks have been on the prowl for adding more talent to their wide receiver depth for seasons now. DK Metcalf is a rising star, Tyler Lockett is underrated but there is a severe drop-off in talent beyond them. The Seahawks have signed Josh Gordon in the past which ultimately did not work out and have kicked the tires on Antonio Brown. The Seahawks are not afraid to be bold in the moves they make to improve the club.
Trading for Beckham Jr. would also appease quarterback Russell Wilson, who has hinted his displeasure with the club this off-season. If new Seahawks offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron let’s Russ semi-cook, this could be a fun offense. Waldron served under Sean McVay as the Rams’ passing game coordinator, so he is no stranger to understanding creative offensive passing schemes and implementing a balanced offense.
Seahawks General Manager John Schneider has been bold trading draft capital in the past for immediate help. Most recently he traded two first round picks and more to the New York Jets for safety Jamal Adams. This team is in win now mode, and Schneider could trade a 2021 second and a 2022 second to facilitate a trade for Beckham Jr. This offense has the makings of a fun offense with Metcalf and Beckham Jr. split wide with Lockett in the slot.
New York Jets- It’s not too far fetched to think a return to the New York/New Jersey tri-state area is conceivable. The Jets have a plethora of draft capital in the next two drafts, so it may make sense to trade a few picks for immediate help if the price for Beckham Jr. isn’t two steep. The Jets, whom will presumably draft Zach Wilson, need to do whatever it takes to provide their rookie quarterback with as much talent as possible on offense. Trading for Beckham Jr. will also enable the Jets to focus on other needs on their roster.
The Jets current starting wide receivers are 2020 second round draft pick Denzel Mims, free agent acquisition Corey Davis and slot wideout Jamison Crowder. All of those wideouts are nice, but none of them stand to be a true number one receiver or anyone who could take the top off of a defense. The Jets are not tied down to the oft-injured Crowder beyond the 2021 season. The Jets’ acquisition of Beckham Jr. could help bring the Jets stability on offense.
San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers had a disappointing 2020 season at the hands of a plethora of injuries on both sides of the football. In spite of that, the team is still in win-now mode. The 49ers traded a haul of draft picks to acquire the number three overall pick in the draft. Regardless if they decide to move forward in the 2020 season with Jimmy Garoppolo or their prized rookie quarterback, all the pieces are in place for another Super Bowl run.
The 49ers have talent on offense in wide receivers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle. However, a wide receiver with game-breaking ability ike Beckham Jr. could put the 49ers over the top.
Bonus Teams: The NFC North is known for their black and blue ways. All four teams could be looking to add talent at the wide receiver position. The Green Bay Packers could use a legit wideout opposite of Davante Adams, the Minnesota Vikings’ depth chart lacks depth behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, the Chicago Bears lack a viable number two behind Allen Robinson and the Detroit Lions lack talent overall at the position.
Follow me on Twitter @BrownieNJD82 for your fantasy football insight and sports betting needs.