04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Jaguars picks: Round 1/5 -- Justin Blackmon, WR, 6-1, 207, Oklahoma State...The Jaguars wanted Blackmon so badly they traded with Tampa Bay to move up two spots in the draft in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Blackmon's physical style of play is something the Jaguars haven't had since the days of Jimmy Smith, the franchise's all-time career leader in receptions. - The Sports Xchange
After scoring 38 touchdowns in his last 25 games, comparisons to the gifted Dez Bryant, whom he replaced at Oklahoma State, are the good and bad news.
His ability is as obvious as the two Fred Belitnikoff awards he won as the top college wide receiver. But he must dedicate himself to reach his ample potential in the NFL. Like Bryant (now with Dallas),
Blackmon has astonishing instincts, body control and the ability to take charge of a game. Also like Bryant, Blackmon has had some issues off the field, in fact some of them with Bryant. This is a concern for teams considering spending millions of dollars on Blackmon. In college, Blackmon replaced Bryant with a flourish in 2010, catching 111 passes for 1,782 yards, breaking Larry Fitzgerald's record for sophomores, and 20 touchdowns. He set an NCAA record with at least 100 yards and one touchdown in all 12 games in a season.
Blackmon then added 122 catches, 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He was devastating in the big games, grabbing five for 157, two touchdowns in the 2011 Alamo Bowl against Nebraska's Prince Amukamara (now with N. Y. Giants) and then finishing his college career with eight catches, 182 yards and touchdowns of 43, 67 and 17 yards in a 41-38 overtime win over Stanford in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.
Blackmon is a gamer who plays faster than his clock speed and bigger, tougher than his measurements and is especially dangerous after the catch. After not running at the Scouting Combine, Blackmon clocked a 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and soared 35 inches in the vertical jump at his pro day.
Off-field concerns include a DUI arrest in October, 2010 in Arlington, Texas when, not coincidentally, he went to visit Bryant and see a Cowboys' game.
Release: Physical player able to get off press coverage to release up the sideline or position himself inside the cornerback on slants and crossing routes. Does not have elite speed to separate after his release but uses strength to get a half-step on defensive backs.
Hands: Has strong hands any NFL receivers coach and quarterback would covet for their team. Tracks the deep ball over either shoulder and brings in passes fluidly without breaking stride down the field. Fights for the ball in the air, has good vertical explosiveness and strong hands to bring it down in traffic. Does not always use his hands to secure deep throws, allowing the ball into his pads and chest. Had a few drops in 2010, losing concentration when trying to make a move or feeling a hit coming.
Route running: Typically lines up outside, but will be in the slot at times to use his physicality to move the chains. Best when using his size to get inside position for slants and post patterns. Often used on deep routes, getting separation down the sideline or over the middle on crossing routes by extending his arms rather than pure speed. Flashes the feet and balance to excel on comeback routes, but only occasionally runs that route in OSU's offense. Will come back to help his quarterback when coverage breaks down.
After the catch: Strong runner with the ball with enough agility to make defenders miss in the open field. Used on quick screens despite his size because he can head-fake linebackers and stiff-arm smaller defenders. Aware of the sideline, gets two feet inbounds and can quickly turn upfield to get additional yardage. Does not have exceptional straight-line speed but takes advantage of open seams when his quarterback is on target. Combines his strength and fair acceleration to turn short passes into long gains when defenders are in his midst.
Blocking: Has enough upper-body strength and tenacity to be very effective as a downfield blocker. Is not shy about taking on his man, provides some pop and will open a running lane for his back at the next level. Inconsistent hitting his target or sustaining, however, allowing his man to get into the play.
Intangibles: Scouts have character concerns about Blackmon. Arrested for misdemeanor DUI in October 2010 and suspended for one game. Suffered a high left ankle sprain in 2010 against Kansas. Young player who was a full-time starter for only one season.