Not a lot of players make it into the NFL without playing college football. It's almost impossible. Many Olympic level athletes have attempted to transition into the NFL; it rarely pans out. The only major success story that comes to mind in this field is Antonio Gates, but he played college basketball at a high level at least. Nevertheless, it seems like every year there is a new freak athlete who attempts to transition into the NFL from some other, unrelated athletic endeavor. This year, that freak athlete is Odell Beckham Jr.'s cousin, professional trainer Terron Beckham.
While Beckham is a longshot to be drafted, several teams appear to be doing their due diligence. Jets beat reporter Connor Hughes reported that five teams (including the Jets) attended Beckham's mock Pro Day at the TEST facility. Beckham's last game of football came in high school and he now 23 years old. What he does have, however, is a combination of incredible measureables and name recognition. This will likely be enough to give him UDFA status after the draft and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in a training camp this summer.
It's hard to really know anything about Terron Beckham as a prospect based on a handful of clips in shorts. The only thing that's really apparent is that he is an absolute monster of an athlete. At approximately 5'11" and 230lbs, Beckham reportedly ran a 4.47 second 40 yard dash, broad jumped 11 feet, vertical jumped 44.5 inches, and bench pressed 225lbs a whopping 36 times. How good are those numbers? Brent Sobleski pointed out that the vertical jump and bench press would be records at any position in this year's combine. His 40 yard dash would have tied him for 5th this year among running backs (his designated position) despite his tremendous size. His broad jump would have tied him for 5th among running backs as well...over the last 11 years. He also displayed pretty impressive agility for a man his size running through some basic football drills. He doesn't appear to be a natural hands catcher, though he didn't drop many balls either.
Despite these terrific numbers, Terron Beckham is but one of dozens of other-worldly athletes that attempt an NFL career with little hope of developing into a starter. Why is it that so few of them seem to make the transition, you ask? Good question! Well, being a good football player requires lot more than being a good athlete. Ignoring the obvious fact that he hasn't played competitive football in about half a decade, the position he's chosen has a lot of challenges associated with it. Beckham wants to be a running back, and there are a ton of unanswered questions. Does he have good vision? How about patience? Is he elusive in tight quarters and can he make men miss in open space? Can he take good angles? What about blitz recognition? Can he learn blocking and leverage? Can he even run any routes? The list is basically endless and most of these skills take years of coaching and muscle memory to master. Running back is arguably one of the harder positions for a pure athlete to walk into at 23 and expect to succeed. For this reason, it's hard to imagine that Beckham will be drafted. However, with such insane natural gifts, I can't argue with any team giving him a shot in training camp to see how he performs in pads. If all else fails, I'd hate to be on the other side of Beckham on a kick coverage squad.
For a team looking for a bruiser in the next few years, giving Beckham a shot in training camp couldn't hurt. The Jets, however, have about a half dozen running backs on the roster. Even in the extremely unlikely event that he manages to create an NFL career for himself, it's hard to see where he would fit in, since the Jets aren't really in a position to keep a lot of long term developmental running backs around. It seems unlikely the Jets have much interest in Beckham, but it's always nice to see Maccagnan's staff turning over every rock.