There are several things two-time Biletnikoff winner Justin Blackmon does do well. His 40-time suggests he doesn’t have “elite break-a-way” speed, but he can and has been quick enough to outrun defenders. He is a gifted athlete whose hands, extension, and ball-tracking are at the top of the class. The combination of his long arms (34”), vertical (33”), and athleticism allow him to make catches over/underthrown that would be incomplete passes with the majority of receivers in this draft.
Reads passes quickly for beautifully timed adjustments; often double-teamed, he uses his ability to adjust to the ball and his physicality to position himself in front of defenders. He can stretch a defense vertically and is physical in press coverage, using his strength and body control to shake off DBs. After the catch is a solid runner who makes cuts and has agile feet and balance. Has a great stiff-arm.
Depending if you look solely at 40-time or game film, speed could be considered a deficiency. The glaring negativity with Blackmon is his route running. He was limited to short screens and slants, skinny posts, and fades. Blackmon consistently floats his routes and rounds his breaks, but his adjustments and extension allow him to catch passes. He doesn’t always finish his blocks, and looks “lazy” when the play is not coming to him. Blackmon loses concentration at times which causes him to drop catchable passes.
- WR, Oklahoma Sr., Jr.
- Ht: 6’1”
- Wt: 215
- 40: 4.54
- Vertical: 33”
Blackmon was recruited by Oklahoma State to play basketball and is a very raw route runner who makes up for it with fantastic hands and exceptional athleticism. Even without precision route running, he is among the elite receivers in this draft and will easily be one of, if not the first to be selected.
Blackmon had character concerns early stemming from a 2010 DUI, but has kept clean since. In 2010 Blackmon had 111 receptions for 1782 yards and 20 TDs and 121 catches for 1522 yards and 18 TDs in 2011. Between the two seasons, Blackmon recorded 100 yards or more in 14 consecutive games (FBS record) and over his entire career (38 games) tallied over 100 yards in 19 contests.
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Dory LeBlanc, covers Gator sports for Gators First and BourbonMeyer.com. Not just a college sports enthusiast, Dory is also a fan of NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. Born outside Philly, she moved to Tampa, and now resides in Illinois, giving her a broad perspective on the sporting world. You can follow Dory on twitter @DoryLeBlanc