The answer is, probably, no. Not on offense, anyway. In 1981, Lawrence Taylor cold-cocked the NFL with his speed an power. He was basically unstoppable. Unstoppable to the point that he changed the way teams deployed linebackers and also altered the way offenses protect passers. He was simply the greatest player of his time. You can debate that if you want. Good luck with that.
Just like hockey is looking for the next Gretzky and basketball the next Jordan, football is still looking for the next LT. That pretty much says it all.
OBJ came in here highly touted and a tricky hamstring shoved him to the back burner. Because he did not practice in full and then did not participate in the team's preseason games, he became an afterthought when the season began.
Then hamstring kept him out of the first four games of the regular season. Many fans wrote him off. He practiced lightly until the doctors cleared him for duty. All the time, mind you, he stood at practice taking it all in, doing things by himself on the side, football in hand.
He made his debut in Week 5 at home against Atlanta. With Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle entrenched as the starters, OBJ was used in a substitute role. He caught four passes for 44 yards and a TD, opening some eyes in the process.
The next week, the Giants were shut out by the Eagles and Cruz tore up his knee, ending his season. OBJ would be asked to expand his role in Cruz' absence. Against Dallas, he caught two TDs, showing his prowess to catch footballs in tight windows and make clutch plays when called upon.
The rest you know. Since that Dallas game, Beckham has perhaps been the best player in the game. His presence and performance saved jobs and help life QB Eli Manning out of his mid-career slump.
OBJ finished with 1,305 receiving yards in only 12 games, a 108.8-yard average that was both a Giants record and the highest figure by a rookie in NFL history. That's over 90 years of history, by the way.
Beckham's theatrics lifted the Giants to some historic firsts. They scored at least 24 points in each of their final six games, something they hadn't done since the Y.A. Tittle days.
He helped repair the Giants' "broken" offense from a year before. The Giants finished 10th in the NFL in total offense with an average of 367.2 yards a game, a 59.7 yards-per-game improvement over their 2013 average of 307.5. It was the team’s largest one-year jump since 2005.
So the answer is no, I have not seen an offensive rookie make an impact like Beckham did with the Giants this season. His performance changed the narrative of this lost Giants season. It was widely said there no hope for the future during a dismal seven-game losing streak. Beckham managed to change that train of thought the final six weeks.
He became the face of a new era of Giant football, one where the Blue will return to prominence.
Where there was little hope, now there is plenty. One guy did it. That is why he is our Giant MVP for 2014.