2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

by Cory J. Bonini on March 16, 2012 @ 10:30:59 PDT

 


College's most dominant receiver, Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, has decided to bypass his senior season on his way to the pros. The two-time All-American and Biletnikoff award winner enters the 2012 NFL Draft as the top-rated prospect at his position. 

In 2010, Blackmon hauled in 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. He followed up that monster campaign with a stat line of 121-1,522-18 in '11. His style of play is that of a more athletic version of Baltimore Ravens wideout Anquan Boldin.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Huge production in college

Strengths

  • Good size (6-foot-1, 207 pounds)
  • Competitive - never takes a play off
  • Dynamic in the open field
  • Strong, with very good stiff arm
  • Body control, ability to make acrobatic catches
  • Strong hands, coordinated
  • Comes up huge in big games
  • Can line up at all three positions
  • Willing blocker
  • Able to fight through jams at the line
  • Seems to understand defenses and knows to come back to his quarterback when needed
  • Tremendous upside
  • Above-average top-end speed (4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash)

Weaknesses

  • Lacks initial burst off the line
  • Could work on refining his footwork coming out of breaks; separation could be an issue for him at the next level if he doesn't improve his route running
  • Arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010 (has stayed out of trouble since)
  • Suffered a high ankle sprain in 2010
  • Needs to learn better technique as a blocker for the NFL
  • Sometimes allows the ball to get to his pads instead of catching with his hands
  • Not necessarily a negative as much as something to keep an eye on: Blackmon plays with a lot of enthusiasm and could draw unsportsmanlike penalties in the NFL

Expected draft placement

Blackmon could go as high as No. 3 overall to the Minnesota Vikings are an option at No. 3, as they struggled to move the ball through the air without Sidney Rice in 2011. Left tackle woes may command more attention, however.

The standout youngster could draw attention from the Cleveland Browns at No. 4, as they, too, need a legitimate No. 1 receiver to bolster their offensive's firepower. 

It is difficult to imagine Blackmon falling past the wide receiver-starved St. Louis Rams No. 6. While they have many other holes to fill, this offense needs a big-play receiver for Sam Bradford to build his career around.

If he somehow does make it by the Rams, don't expect the No. 7 team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, to allow him to get out of their clutches. He could even be the target of a trade up by the Jags.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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