Blog Entry

Blackmon's big Pro Day draws key decision-makers

Posted on: March 9, 2012 7:34 pm
STILLWATER, Okla. -- When Justin Blackmon didn't run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, questions about his speed persisted.
With 62 representatives from all 32 NFL teams watching him at his pro day, Blackmon erased any lingering doubt about his timed speed in roughly 4.45 seconds.

Oklahoma State listed Blackmon's 40 time as a 4.46 Friday. Scouts attending also had him running in 4.44 seconds.

"I was trying to shoot for a 4.45," Blackmon said. "That was kind of in my head, anywhere between there and 4.5.

"I felt pretty good when I ran it. My time was there. It says everything it needs to say."

In other drills, Blackmon touched 35 inches in his vertical jump, ran 4.36 in the shuttle and jumped 10-feet-3 inches in the broad jump. Satisfied with his 14 reps in the bench press from the NFL combine, he decided to skip that drill.

Blackmon caught 14 of 16 passes from quarterback Brandon Weeden during pass-catching drills. He did have two drops, both on out routes, but made two 50-yard catches on which he made adjustments to the ball in midair.

"Brandon put the ball on the spot," Blackmon said. "I had a couple of drops, but overall it went well."

Most of Blackmon's catches occurred either within 10 yards on the left sideline or past 20 yards on the right sidelines. He did not run any routes to the right side within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Some of the teams drafting early in the first round sent top coaches to Oklahoma State's pro day.

For the Cleveland Browns, head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress were on hand. Shurmur and Childress stood to the left of Weeden as they watched Blackmon in the receiving drills.

The Minnesota Vikings, with the third overall pick in the draft, had four members of their staff in attendance, including coach Leslie Frazier. The Vikings staff had a meeting scheduled with Blackmon immediately after his workout.

Frazier said he thinks there is a good chance Blackmon will be available for the Vikings at the third pick if his team decides it wants to select him. Andrew Luck of Stanford and Baylor's Robert Griffin III are widely expected to be the first two picks in the draft, but the Vikings drafted quarterback Christian Ponder in the first round of the 2011 draft.

"He's a terrific young player," Frazier said. "He didn't do anything to make you wonder if he was a different person on tape. He really solidified some of the things you saw on tape."

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith and Denver Broncos coach John Fox were the other coaches in attendance. Fox was flanked by vice president John Elway and general manager Brian Xanders before hurriedly hitting the airport, where they boarded a jet bound for Denver with Peyton Manning as a passenger.

The Broncos, though, were likely scouting Weeden and other participants more than Blackmon.

After declaring for the draft, Blackmon's initial goal was to participate in as few drills as possible at the pro day. A minor hamstring injury during the week of the combine forced him to skip the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, raising doubts about how fast he was projected to run.

For Blackmon, he felt relieved to post a convincing time of 4.46, which should stand up to any bristle about a "fast track" in Stillwater.

"It was a process to try to knock it all out at the combine, and things popped up and I couldn't," Blackmon said. "I'm glad I got to come out and perform today and glad I got to knock it out."

In the weeks leading up to the pro day, Blackmon had to adjust his training to allow his hamstring to rest.

"I didn't do everything running wise I could (have) to better myself," Blackmon said. "I had to cut down on the runs and coming in and out of breaks. I did a lot more upper body things."

Blackmon's focus turns to private workouts with teams. Todd France, Blackmon's agent, said his client had workouts scheduled with multiple teams, but France would not disclose which teams will be hosting Blackmon.

Contributed by James Poling

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: March 10, 2012 10:40 am

Blackmon's big Pro Day draws key decision-makers


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