On the subject of Justin Blackmon, most fans seem to be in one of two groups: Group A is the group that REALLY like him and think he's worth a top 5 pick, maybe even the number 2 pick. Group B, who think he's a good player but not good enough to be a top 5 pick and maybe not even a top 10 pick. I've heard Blackmon compared to A.J. Green and Julio Jones by Group A in support of their claims that he's worthy of a Top 5 pick. So in this article I will compare him against the two, explain who I think is better out of the three, and my opinion on whether I believe Blackmon is worth the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. More after the jump..
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Blackmon is a baller. Although he is only 6'1, he plays way bigger. Watching him play against Oklahoma University, year in and year out, I have some respect for him (you have no clue how much that hurts my soul to say). Good strength and above-average speed. Blackmon has great hands and catches the ball away from his body. Tough, physical player who isn't afraid to go over the middle and catch the ball in traffic. Blackmon can pick up yards after the catch and first contact. He has solid ball skills and great body control to adjust to the ball in the air. He's a competitive guy who goes all out every play. In Blackmon, there really aren't that many flaws that you can count, but they are there. He's had a couple of mishandles with the ball, but it's nothing to be really worried about. This tells me that he does have some maturity that needs to mature but this is to be expected out of a college athlete so I don't hold it against him. Also his height is a concern to many which could be a problem in the NFL but I think his athleticism could help him in that area. He doesn't have a great burst off the line, but is quick enough to break away and he can turn a 3 yard slant into a huge gain(you saw this in the Fiesta Bowl). He also needs to polish his route running a little, he isn't the quickest at getting in and out of his breaks and he must improve his blocking skill.
If you still have a problem with his height check this out:
If you still have a problem with his height check this out:
Justin Blackmon - Sports Science - Amazing Catches (via ESPN)
Green was clearly the best Wide Receiver to come out in last year’s draft. Has the skills of a complete receiver; makes tough catches in traffic, beats opponents deep, and shines in crucial situations. Utilizes his long arms and soft hands, reeling in seemingly every pass thrown his way while also displaying excellent body control. Is a terrific jump-ball threat who isn’t afraid to extend and make necessary adjustments in the air to come down with the ball. Plants his foot and burst off the line of scrimmage, creating immediate separation between opposing defensive backs. Possesses elite speed and acceleration, especially when given the opportunity to break loose deep down the field. He was an underrated route-running specialist who shows balance after the snap and can find holes in the secondary all over the field. Has a lot of experience and consistent production in a pro-style offensive system. Had ideal size for a complete wide receiver and could probably even add some bulk without losing his athleticism or speed. He is also a high-potential punt returner who was impressively shifty in the few chances he was given on special teams. Fights through tackles and finds ways to maneuver around defenders, picking up a lot of yards after the catch.
AJ Green is only an average blocker down the field and sometimes gets overpowered by opponents in run support. He was looked at by some as being too soft, could put on some bulk. Despite his crisp route-running skills, he tends to round off some assignments toward the end of games. Green was suspended for the first four games of his last year in college for violating NCAA rules. Sometimes gets a little too pushy with opposing defensive backs when running routes deep down the field.
AJ Green: The Perfect Receiver (via johnsobasky)
As a Ram's fan most are familiar with Julio Jones, most of us were hoping and praying that he would fall to the 14 spot, but those hopes got smashed quick when the Falcons came in and fucked it up. Julio Jones had outstanding size, speed, and athleticism. Solidly built. Tremendous ball skills and body control, ability to adjust to poorly-thrown balls. Catches the ball away from his body. Great run-after-the catch ability, as good as any receiver coming out at making defenders miss. He catches ball at highest point possible, great at reigning in jump balls. Played in a pro-style offense at Alabama. Tough guy who isn't afraid to make catches in traffic and will play with nagging injuries. Honestly, Julio only had a few flaws to him which were At the times, he lacked explosiveness of the line and he dropped way too much many catchable balls. As we know now this hasn't really affected him so much in the pros but looking back at being a prospect these were some big causes for concern.
How would I rank the 3? (In a title of a section, you need to spell out numbers)
1. AJ Green
2. Justin Blackmon
3. Julio Jones
I think Green just had the prolific tools coming out of college that I would prefer over either of the other two. I think after that I would take Blackmon over Julio. Julio had major questions about his hands and Blackmon doesn’t. With that being said the question now becomes is Blackmon worth a top 5 pick or our number 2 pick. It depends honestly. There are major factors that need to be considered but none bigger than - is Lloyd coming back? If Lloyd leaves, I think we have to take Blackmon. He is the best Wr in this class and I just don't see as much upside with the other 2 Wide Receivers. Alshon Jeffery just doesn't appeal to me as much as he did earlier in the season and Micheal Floyd only played one full season (this season) at Notre Dame where he didn't get injured and he has off the field concerns that many just might not trust. Then some might say we can get a stud in FA but I don't trust that a stud WR would come here. We have not displayed the ability to win games and that just doesn't appeal to big name players. Just because you throw money in front of them doesn't mean they'll want to come here. So basically what I'm asking is why come here rather than say New England or New Orleans? Not taking Blackmon here could be a huge mistake in my honest opinion, we need playmakers for Sam. Honestly do you really want to gamble with this kind of WR corps for our Rams?
Mark Clayton has become injury prone and should be a #2 at best. Salas is a slot at best and same goes for Amendola. Gibson should be gone and so should DX. I'm sorry but DX can not be counted on to stay healthy and should be (if kept) a back up at best. Austin Pettis is a #2 at best. Some might say, "well you just admitted that Green is better than Blackmon so why pick Blackmon at #2. There's 2 simple answer to this question, 1. Because it's our biggest need if Lloyd leaves and 2. The rookie salary cap. I think this betters teams because now they can pick the player they want high and not worry about having to overpay for said player. This Front Office needs to show the fans that they are thinking long term not just a quick fixes through FA like they have in previous years with Clayton and Lloyd.
I honestly think our line was getting better as the season went on and were finally getting it before Saffold went down. I think with Saffold back that gives them a big boost and we hopefully get an OT in the FA. Honestly some of the sacks on Bradford was his fault during the season (as much as it pains me to say), he needs to get better at sensing the pressure and moving around in the pocket.
So that's my two cents on what I think about Blackmon. Hope you enjoyed.