Who Is Travis Beckum? You'll Know Soon Enough

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IMay 30, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 09:  Travis Beckum #47 of the New York Giants works out at rookie camp on May 9, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Alex Trebek : This player from the University of Wisconsin was a Mackey Award semifinalist in 2006.

John Fennelly: Who is Travis Beckum?

Alex Trebek: Yes, it was his first year as an offensive player, too. Not bad.

That leads me to think...who exactly is this kid who's name is so eerily close to that of the character played by Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver?

Here's what we know:

He's an exceptional athlete. He started his college career as a defensive player and then switched to tight end in his junior year.

He was named second-team All-American. As a senior, he broke his leg and fell off the radar of many pro scouts.

But not everyone's radar screen went dark. No one seems to fall off the Giants' radar these days.

Jerry Reese took Beckum with the second of his two third round selections (No. 100 overall). It wasn't a total shock, but right then and there everyone from the guy who sells the peanuts to John Mara felt a shiver.

Another steal?

Perhaps. Beckum is what is commonly known as "a tweener:" a guy who is too big for one position and too small for another. In his case, Beckum is 6'3", 240 and is too big for a WR and tad too small for a TE.

Will he be an H-back perhaps? Kevin Gilbride, the Giants' OC says no, because the Giants normally do not use the H-back formation in their offense.

"I see him as a bigger Steve Smith," said Gilbride in an interview with Giants.com, "He creates a problem for defenses matchup-wise."  That's right.  A slot receiver. Beckum will be the hinge that the Giant offense has lacked.

Defenses will need to put a safety on him (who will be too small) or a linebacker (who may be too slow).  Either scenario strengthens both the passing and running attacks.

Gilbride also alluded to the fact that Beckum has great YAC (yards after catch) potential, which would garner even more attention from defenders.

So my Saturday just got a little better after listening to Gilbride, brimming with enthusiasm over the new weapon in his arsenal.