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« : January 23, 2012, 01:19:55 PM »

2012 Draft Prospect: Justin Blackmon

January 23, 2012 9:55 am

With the deadline for underclassmen to declare behind us it’s time to start focusing on the 2012 NFL Draft.  One of the more intriguing prospects is Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.  After setting numerous school, conference and NCAA records over the course of the past two seasons, Blackmon has emerged as the top prospect at the wide receiver position.  But some wonder if Blackmon will be more like Oklahoma State wide receivers of the past, who put huge numbers on the collegiate level but flopped in the pros.
After torching the Stanford Cardinal in the Fiesta Bowl to the tune of 191 yards and three touchdowns, Justin Blackmon made known what everyone thought and declared himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft.  Coming off another recording breaking season in which he caught 122 passes for 1,522 receiving yards and eighteen touchdowns and leading Oklahoma St. to their first ever BCS Bowl win, the choice was an obvious one.  The redshirt junior’s career totals are 252 receptions for 3,564 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns.  There is no question why he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner.  But we have seen these numbers before from Oklahoma State wide receivers.
The tradition at wide receiver for Oklahoma State dates back to the days of Hart Lee Dykes.  Who was part of an explosive Cowboy offense in the mid 1980’s that included current Head Coach but then quarterback, Mike Gundy and running backs Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders.  He was a first team All-American in 1988 after posting 74 receptions for 1,278 yards and 14 touchdowns.   After a controversial career in which he was involved in a recruiting scandal where four universities were put on probation for violations, Dykes went pro.  He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round in 1989.  He played two seasons before injuries ended his career.  The tradition was later carried on by guys like Rashaun Woods who, from 2000 to 2000 set numerous Big 12 receiving records and was named a two time All-American.  He went on to be drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.  After two injury riddled seasons with the 49ers, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers and eventually cut.  He was picked up by the Denver Broncos in 2006 but failed a physical and was released.  His brother D’Juan Woods took the torch in 2003 and was among the Big 12’s leading receivers.  He put up career numbers of 161 receptions for 2,695 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.  He would go undrafted but was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars and later was on the New Orleans Saints practice squad.  He is currently a free agent.
In 2006 and 2007 Adarius Bowman was the next Oklahoma State wide receiver to dominate the Big 12.  In his two years at the university he posted 127 receptions for 2,187 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.  After being regarded as a top draft prospect Bowman’s stock plummeted after his senior season due to poor pre-draft workouts and off the field troubles with marijuana.  He went on to be undrafted and later landed in the CFL.  Bucking this trend of Cowboy’s receivers recently has been Dez Bryant.  In 2008 Bryant had one of the greatest seasons by a Big 12 receiver catching 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns.  He was also a threat in the return game taking two punts back for touchdowns.  Going into the 2009 season Dez Bryant was considered the top wide receiver prospect in the country by many experts.  But his season was cut short due to what the NCAA deemed illegal interaction with Deion Sanders.  His draft stock also took a hit because of this and what seemed to be attitude problems.  He dropped all the way to the number 24 pick where the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones moved up in a trade to get him.  In two seasons with Dallas Bryant has started to emerge as the threat on the outside, displaying the speed and physicality that made him an All-American at Oklahoma State.  Even with the success he has had the book is still out on him as he has battled injuries and trouble off the field.  He was recently involved in a verbal altercation at a Miami night club where he was detained and questioned by police.
The overriding theme with all these Oklahoma State wide receivers is that they all put up big numbers in college, have had very little success in the NFL and have had trouble off the field.  Before this season Blackmon appeared to be no different.  He was arrested in October of 2010 on a DUI complaint after he was pulled over for driving 92 mph in a 60 mph zone on the highway.  So coming into the 2011 season Blackmon had some work to do to prove scouts wrong.  He went out and did both on and off the field.
On the field he dominated, terrorizing Big 12 defensive coordinators on Saturdays in leading the Cowboys to the Big 12 Championship.   When you watch Blackmon play he shows everything you want in a number one NFL wide receiver.  Listed at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, he possesses strong hands, run after the catch ability, and route running skills.  Scouts will question Blackmon’s speed.  When you watch him on tape, he appears to be a guy who plays faster with pads on then he will with track shoes.  One key thing that will go overlooked with him is his arm length.  Since he doesn’t have elite size in terms of height, he makes up for it with arms that measure 34 inches long.  This is what enables him to make those ridiculous catches over defensive backs.  Quarterbacks love guys with a large catch radius.  Meaning they can just throw the ball within the vicinity of Blackmon and he has a good chance of coming up with the ball because of his long arms.  The thing I am most impressed by when I watch Justin Blackmon on tape is the way he sets up defensive backs with his routes.  He does a good job of selling his double moves.  He also does a great job of coming back to get the ball instead of waiting for the ball to arrive.  A trait you do not find in most young receivers.  All these attributes are what make Blackmon a highly rated prospect.   
Off the field Blackmon has become very good friends with Olivia Hamilton, a fourth grader who is battling cancer.   The two met at a Coaches vs. Cancer function in Stillwater, Oklahoma and have been best friends ever since.  ESPN ran a special on their relationship and how Blackmon is using his prowess on the field to touch a life off of it.
 At a time in the NFL where quarterbacks are throwing the ball at a break neck pace, talented pass catchers are at a premium.  Blackmon has been compared to both Anquan Boldin and Terrell Owens, both very good comparisons.  It appears as if he has all the tools to go on and have a successful pro career.  It’s up to him to apply that talent on the field and shed the stigma associated with wide receivers from Oklahoma State.


The Anti-Java

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Posts : 23385
« #1 : January 23, 2012, 01:35:39 PM »

I would prefer Kalil or  Claiborne in that spot.    #5

sig pic by chace1986

\\\\\\\"Java, do you understand this a perfect example of why people beg me to suspend or ban you on a daily basis? Are you actually trying to make a point? Seriously what is the reason for even commenting. In fact why do you even bother coming to the boards? What happened to the intelligent poster from years ago?  A real shame. Like the Bucs yesterday, a wasted effort.\\\\\\\"
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