New York Giants rookie Odell Beckham Jr. made the most incredible catch of the NFL season in Sunday night’s 31-28 loss to the Cowboys, stretching backward to pick a ball out of the air with three fingers and score a 43-yard touchdown.
Many in the NFL world — including SI’s Peter King — are calling it the best catch they have ever seen.
It’s the type of catch that elicits the same mystified response from anyone watching it live: How did he do that?
The first reason is genetic. The second reason comes down to work ethic.
Beckham has enormous hands, even for an NFL player. At the NFL combine his hands measured 10.0 inches long. Of the 48 wide receivers at the combine, Beckham had the fifth-largest hands, despite the fact that he was one of the shorter wide receivers there at 5 feet, 11 inches. He has bigger hands than Martavis Bryant of the Steelers (who is 6-foot-4) and Mike Evans of the Buccaneers (6-foot-5).
I guess I’ve got to thank my mum for the long fingers. Her hands are maybe a half-inch shorter than mine. I know I felt [the ball] it in those two fingers and I tried my best to pull it in.
He really did catch it with three fingers:
This photo gives you a sense of how huge his hands are:
Merely having enormous hands doesn’t mean you can just go out and pull in NFL passes with three fingers. Beckham is known for practicing this sort of catch.
“Catching the ball with one hand is something you just have to practice, because the opportunity sometimes presents itself and you want to be prepared,” he told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. “Jarvis Landry and I would do that every day in practice. We would see who could make the most ridiculous catch.”
After the game Peter King wrote about how Beckham and Landry pushed each other in practice when they were roommates at LSU. Les Miles, their coach, told King that he would see catches like that all the time in practice:
Some receivers you say have rare ball skills. But anyone who has coached Odell, played against Odell, worked out Odell will tell you his ball skills are exceptional and rare. We saw in practice. We would stop and watch these one-handed catches Odell and Jarvis would make in practice. Let me tell you, it was nothing you have ever seen in other players. That’s why their old teammates would say today, ‘We have seen this before.’
Here’s the catch, one more time. Incredible:
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