Justin Blackmon Scout

 

Wide receiver

Oklahoma State

6-1 207

Draft board overall prospect rank: #9

Draft board overall wide receiver rank:  #1

Overall rating: 90 (Borderline Top 10 prospect)

40 time: 4.46

Games watched: Oklahoma State/Texas A&MTexas/Oklahoma StateOklahoma State/Oklahoma

Positives

·         Incredibly productive 2 year starter (111/1782/20 and 121/1522/18)

·         Above average size (6-1 207)

·         Above average size (4.46)

·         Vertical, deep threat

·         Great body control

·         Can go over the middle

·         Thrived even against double coverage

·         Above average route runner

·         Physical athlete who breaks a lot of tackles

·         In excellent physical shape

·         Strong hands

·         Makes a good amount of impressive catches

·         Large catch radius

·         Catches in stride well

·         Above average run blocker

Negatives

·         Not an elite physical specimen

·         DUI arrest in 2010

·         Maybe just a system quarterback

·         Always played in a pass heavy offense with a great quarterback

·         Mental lapses from time to time

·         Can be a bit of a diva receiver who gets frustrated

·         Drops more passes than you’d like

·         Needs to be more of a hands catcher than a body catcher

NFL Comparison: Steve Johnson

Contrary to popular belief, Justin Blackmon is not an elite wide receiver prospect. He does not grade out on the same level as players like AJ Green, Julio Jones, or Calvin Johnson. As a prospect, he’s more on the level of Michael Crabtree. He’s an above average athlete with above average size and above average speed, but he’s not the elite physical specimen you look for when you look at a wide receiver to potentially take in the top 5.

I think he’s a bit overrated because of his incredible level of production at Oklahoma State, but he did so in a pass heavy spread offense with an elite college quarterback in Brandon Weeden. In the last 2 seasons, he has 111 catches for 1782 yards and 20 touchdowns and 121 catches for 1522 yards and 18 touchdowns. Those numbers suggest elite wide receiver, but like Michael Crabtree’s they’re a little bloated because of his situation.

As a player, he reminds more of Steve Johnson. Steve Johnson is a low end #1 wide receiver with above average physical skills. In the last 2 seasons, the 6-2 Johnson has 82 catches for 1073 yards and 10 touchdowns and 76 catches for 1004 yards and 7 touchdowns. That’s the type of production you can expect from Blackmon in his 2nd or 3rd year in the league (rookie receivers tend to take a while to get into the flow).

Johnson also frustrates at times. He drops more passes than you’d like and he can be overly showboaty. He dropped 6 passes including a game winner in a loss to Pittsburgh in 2010 and then in 2011 he celebrated a touchdown in the middle of the game and only to drop two balls on a potential game winning drive in a loss. He’s also been fined several times for end zone celebrations.

Blackmon also drops more balls than you’d like and does some foolish things. In a win over Texas A&M, Blackmon dropped a couple passes, got blanketed by double coverage, which frustrated him. After Weeden didn’t throw to him when he was supposedly open, Blackmon was noticeably frustrated at his quarterback. He also ran with the ball exposed and fumbled a sure touchdown and didn’t bring another touchdown to his body, leaving it susceptible to being knocked out, though it wasn’t. Its lapses in concentrations like this that frustrate with Blackmon, but ultimately, he’s worth the headaches because he’s still a rare physical talent and a #1 receiver.

Blackmon’s draft stock starts at 4 to Cleveland, though he probably won’t be drafted there. St. Louis at 6 makes a lot more sense and Jacksonville at 7 and Miami at 8 would both give him a very long look. He probably won’t get out of the top 8, but we said the same thing about Crabtree, who was passed on by Seattle at 4, Oakland at 7, and Jacksonville at 8 before going to San Francisco at 10. Minnesota is another option if they trade down from 3. I think the top 5 or 6 would be a little rich for him, but he’s a borderline top 10 pick who should have a strong career.

 

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