Posted by Chip Patterson
Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon has had quite the impressive season. The redshirt sophomore entered the Cowboys football program as one of the most heralded receivers in the the class, but it took a few seasons before he really made his mark on the Big 12.
The way things have gone for Blackmon, that mark looks like it will be pretty close to permanent. Blackmon leads the nation in touchdown receptions, yards per game, and was recently named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. With such a fast arrival on the scene, Blackmon has seen his name fly up draft boards as the season has progressed. While eligible for early entry to the 2011 NFL Draft, Blackmon does have potentially two years of eligibility left with the Cowboys.
But if you ask him, Blackmon will tell you the NFL Draft is the farthest thing from his mind.
“I haven’t thought about it at all,” Blackmon said to Tulsa World. “That’s something I have to look forward to. Right now I’m just focusing on the Alamo Bowl and getting ready for the game.”
Blackmon's season has brought his name into the discussion for the first round, but there are many people that believe Blackmon has a lot of development left that could turn him into a top pick with guaranteed money. One of the people who think Blackmon can benefit from another year at Oklahoma State is his head coach, Mike Gundy.
“My recommendation to him would be to come back and to prepare himself to be even a more highly regarded player when it comes to the NFL draft, and to be a part of the team,” Gundy said. “He’s got a long way to go. You can do that for the rest of your life. He’s still young. He can still mature and help himself, in my opinion.”
Blackmon is currently considered by many to be the third best receiver available, but he may also want to consider the possible work stoppage as a reason to return. While he may not be able to get the "Sam Bradford money" he mentioned back in October, the money could be much more when the draft comes back around 2012.