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Beckham impressed with Giants' young weapons


*Odell Beckham Jr. gave his take on the Giants' offensive weapons including second-year WR Sterling Shepard and rookie Evan Engram:  *

Odell Beckham Jr. has been Sterling Shepard's biggest cheerleader since he arrived on campus.

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Last spring, Beckham, the king of rookie campaigns, said to expect big things from the team's second-round draft pick. Shepard, in turn, caught 65 passes for 683 yards and eight touchdowns – all in the top five in Giants history for a rookie (Beckham holds each of those records, which he set in 2014).

With a year under his belt, Shepard has only gotten better this offseason and looked impressive during organized team activities (OTAs) and into minicamp, which opened today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Shepard hauled in a pair of touchdowns and scattered a handful of other receptions throughout Tuesday's practice.

"To see young Shep, it just put a smile on my face," Beckham said after the first of three practices this week. "He has such a bright future ahead of him, and he puts that smile on your face. It reminds me of when I was young and it was my second year in the league and you are just so happy to be here and to be happy to do what he is doing, so it is reassuring to see from him."

Coach Ben McAdoo also liked what he saw.

"Sterling Shepard had a nice day today," he said. "I think he went out and had a strong first day in camp. He really showed up well inside, made a lot of plays, so it's good to have everyone out here working."

While Beckham saw a lot of familiar faces like Shepard's today, he also saw some new ones. On offense, that included six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall and rookie tight end Evan Engram, the 23rd overall pick in in the 2017 NFL Draft.

View the best photos from the Giants' first minicamp practice

"I have talked to [Marshall] pretty much throughout the whole offseason and just to get out here and see him work – he is a guy who has been doing this for a while now," Beckham said. "We will be able to take from each other and we all hold each other accountable, and I think it is going to be a lot of fun being able to work with a guy like that."

Beckham added: "When [Engram] came out to the Rookie Premiere and I was out there training in L.A., I got to meet up with him. I took him out to eat and we just got to hang out for a couple days and we were just talking and he seems really excited about it. I was telling him how excited I am to have him here, a guy who – it reminds me of when the Saints had Jimmy Graham and they would line him up on the outside and create nightmare mismatches, and Gronk [Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots] and put him on the outside. But he is a real hybrid.

"If you put him out there and you have a safety guard him, that is going to be trouble. If you put him out there and you have a linebacker guard him, that is going to be trouble. And from what I have been hearing, he has even tortured corners. So I am really looking forward to seeing him develop and how his game is going to evolve and just what he can bring to the table."

At LSU, Beckham went 2-1 against Ole Miss, Engram's alma mater.

The only loss was a 2013 game in which Engram caught two passes for 28 yards as a true freshman. Beckham filled up the stat sheet with five catches for 72 yards, a 21-yard punt return, and four kickoff returns for 92 yards.

"I know he is a special talent," Beckham said. "He came out of the SEC, so I already know he is a beast."

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