Sterling Shepard with a Giant future

Well, that says enough doesn’t it? One of the best wide receivers in the game approves, so you should too. The New York Giants chose Sterling Shepard with the 40th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and like Odell said, they stole one.

“Shep” is a known Oklahoman and has come a long way in his athletic route to the professional ranks and as amazing it is to see him at this level, this isn’t surprising at all. Thinking back to the days at Northeast Academy, he’s simply been more athletic than everybody. All the talent that came through Northeast Middle-High School, Shepard was by far the most athletic, and the hardest worker. That behavior, mixed with his very competitive nature followed him to Heritage Hall High School, then to the University of Oklahoma and now the New York Giants. The thing is…he continues to get better. As competition gets tougher, so does he. I’ve watched it from his sixth and seventh-grade year, where he was my basketball teammate and star player of the team, and ever since then. He’s always been this way.

With that being said, don’t think this stops at the NFL. Now he’s getting paid to do what he’s been doing his entire life. Even more of his time and energy will be focused on New York Giant football and with veterans like Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham in front of him, expect the very best to come out of this situation.

He was called “a young Victor Cruz” when he was drafted and he seems to agree with that statement.

“That’s one of the guys that I look at a lot,’’ Shepard said. “Victor Cruz is a great receiver. We’re kind of the same size, same stature. I definitely look up to that guy. I can see some similarities.’’

Shep started three years at the University of Oklahoma and played 50 games throughout his four-year career. His final season he caught 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was primarily a slot receiver, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be an effective target outside. He catches the ball about 96 percent of the time and had one of the lowest drop rates in college football last season. Standing at 5-foot-10, he may be underestimated. That would be from the few people that live under a rock and haven’t heard of, or done their research on the kid.

“You like 6-5, 200 pounds and run a 4.4 and all that, but this guy overcomes his lack of height with his other skills,’’ Marc Ross, the Giants’ vice-president of player evaluation. “Short receivers who play small are our concern. Short receivers who play big are not a concern.”

Expect Shepard to contribute immediately in this offense. No, he won’t beat out Odell or anything… I’m not saying that, but he will be a major part of a dangerous receiving core. A receiving core that may give my Dallas Cowboys’ secondary a nightmare of a trouncing.

About the author

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.


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