Is Odell Beckham Jr. the First Wide Receiver to Catch a Ball With One Hand?

This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not really the biggest Odell Beckham Jr. fan. Is it because he is a diva that has drama anywhere he goes? Is it because he wore a watch on the field just so people would talk about him and not the failure to meet Super Bowl expectations in Week 1? Is it because the media and everyone gushes over him anytime he catches a ball that wasn’t put right between the numbers?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, you were correct.

During tonight’s warm-ups before the Browns take on the Jets in OBJ’s return to MetLife, ESPN doing what ESPN does, just fueled the fire in the narrative that Beckham Jr. is the only player on the planet capable of catching the ball with one hand.

Go to any college football practice or NFL workout and you will see receivers doing drills like this. Is OBJ a great wide receiver? Yes. I’m not here to dispute that. He can do things with his hands and body that fewer than probably 20 NFL wide receivers can do. But this drill ain’t one of ’em.

As a former wide receiver (not to brag or anything) I can confirm that one handed catch drills are done in high school. High school. I’m not gonna go into how I hold my middle school’s record for the longest TD catch (99-yards, again not to brag) or how I dropped maybe five balls in my entire career or anything like that. Or the fact that I recorded a catch in seven consecutive games my senior year. Again, not that big of a deal. But the fact that we were doing drills like OBJ in southwest Ohio in 2003 is proof that ESPN and the rest of Twitter might be gushing just a little bit too much over something that any elite (or middle school record holding) wide receivers should be able to do without a second thought.

To be fair though, I don’t know that anyone else has been filmed making one handed catches so maybe we’ll have to wait until something surfaces before people stop giving OBJ an OTPHJ every time he catches a ball uncontested without pads on.

 

Whoops. But then again, that’s only 35 minutes of footage. Enjoy your time in the sun before more catches are caught on tape, Odell.

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