Odell Beckham Jr. Sends Giants’ WR a Message About Jersey Number

Odell Beckham Jr.

Getty Odell Beckham Jr. sent a New York Giants' wide receiver a message about his old jersey number.

Odell Beckham Jr.wasn’t about to watch his old jersey number with the New York Giants get taken without passing comment. Rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt revealed he’s donning the now famous No. 13 once worn by Beckham, who soon sent the third-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft a message.

OBJ tweeted his approval with this simple and emphatic statement: “ROCK OUT ONE THREE.”

That’s a solid endorsement from Beckham, who adorned No. 13 when he won Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Giants back in 2014. Flash forward almost a decade later and Beckham is a much-travelled wideout who had a stint with the Cleveland Browns, won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams in 2022, before signing with the Baltimore Ravens in free agency this offseason.

Yet, for all his accomplishments away from MetLife Stadium, Beckham’s prolific spell with the Giants still defines his career. He topped 1,000 yards in four out of five seasons and made a series of iconic, highlight reel-worthy plays.

OBJ did things the Giants hope for from Hyatt, a natural burner who has already shown flashes of what made him a feared deep threat at Tennessee. Now, Hyatt is aiming to forge his own, Beckham-like success in the pros.

Rookie Targeting Own ‘Legacy’

Hyatt is fully aware of Beckham’s history with the number, admitting that played on his mind before making the switch from No. 84, per SNY.tv’s Giants Videos: “It definitely did. I mean, what he did here, you know, had a great, great career here when he was with the Giants, kinda took over.”

While Hyatt acknowledged his admiration for Beckham, the first-year pass-catcher also made it clear he’s eager to forge his own path with the number: “I just want to start my own legacy with it.”

This isn’t the first time Hyatt has set a target of emulating OBJ. Hyatt has also set his sights on being named Offensive Rookie of the Year, an award last won by a Giants’ player, running back Saquon Barkley in 2018, four years after Beckham claimed the prize.

Hyatt’s ambition and swagger bode well for the Giants, who need the rookie to add some juice to what was a sluggish passing game a year ago. Quarterback Daniel Jones led an air attack that mustered a league-low 28 completions of 20-plus yards.

That lowly figure likely prompted the selection of Hyatt with the 73rd-overall pick. The 21-year-old proved himself a natural field-stretcher with the Volunteers by averaging 16.4 yards per reception over three seasons, including 18.9 per grab in 2022, according to Sports Reference.

Fortunately, the early evidence suggests Hyatt could replicate that same vertical threat at the pro level.

Giants’ New No. 13 Can Transform Offense

True speed can be an equalizer against even the most talented defensive backs. Hyatt proved as much when he left All-Pro cornerback Sauce Gardner trailing against the New York Jets in preseason, a rep highlighted by Nick Falato of SB Nation’s Big Blue View.

While Jones couldn’t drop his throw into the bucket, the implication of this play was obvious. The Giants possess a legitimate burner defenses will have to take special steps to stop.

Steps like keeping at least one safety deep. Doing so will create light boxes for Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley to exploit, as well as more room for tight end Darren Waller to exploit over the middle.

A lot hinges on Hyatt translating his raw talents within a complex NFL playbook. It will help to build a rapport with Jones, something the receiver can do after moving into “prime real estate” within the locker room, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Jones has plenty of weapons besides Hyatt, targets like Waller and receivers Parris Campbell, Isaiah Hodgins and Darius Slayton. Yet, it’s Hyatt who will do more to determine the success of this revamped passing game.

If he shares more than just a number with Beckham, Hyatt will transform the Giants’ offense.