I'm gonna start this post off with a player analysis from a recent draft about a certain wide receiver, and I'd like for you to guess who that receiver is (spoiler after jump).
Positives: Passes the eyeball test. Good initial quickness off the snap. Good strength and lateral agility to fight through press coverage. Sneaky downfield speed. Good burst out of his breaks to generate separation, especially on slants. Rare body control for a player of his size. Can contort his body in space to make the spectacular reception. Sticky hands. Can snatch out of the air or absorb with his body when he feels an impending big hit. Knows where the sidelines, down markers and, most important, end zone are. Good height and leaping ability for the fade. Rare strength, balance and agility to turn short and intermediate catches into long gains. Good vision to cut back against the grain. Improved with each year of experience. Might just be scratching the surface of his potential.
Negatives: Questionable deep speed. May lack the top-end speed to challenge defensive backs over the top, allowing savvy NFL defenders to close off the crossing routes on which (receiver) generated much of his success.
The player described was Hakeem Nicks, who was a first round pick in 2009. Nicks is 6'1", 212 lbs. Justin Blackmon is 6'1", 211 lbs. He shares a lot of the same positives and negatives as Nicks, and if drafted as a Ram this year, could share some of the same complimentary receivers.
As I'm sure you're all aware of by now, the Rams have been talking to both Mario Manningham and Steve Smith, the two receivers who played alongside Hakeem Nicks his rookie season. Here are the receiving stats for the three that year.
Nicks: 47 rec 790 yds 6 td
Manningham: 57 rec 822 yds 5 td
Smith: 107 rec 1220 yds 7 td
That's a pretty solid receiving corps... and the Rams have the opportunity to put up similar numbers this year... Now, I'll concede that Steve Smith probably won't be a 107 rec kind of guy again this year, but if he is finally healthy, he could easily be an 80-90 catch guy, and a real security net for Sam Bradford. Mario Manningham has gotten better since then, and should have even better numbers... And while Blackmon is still unknown as to how he will do in the NFL, those two receivers will give him the room to do what he does best... Their skill sets compliment his WONDERFULLY... The only question that would remain is the production of the TE... In 2009, here was Kevin Boss's stat line:
Boss: 42 rec 567 yds 5 td
Here was Lance Kendricks rookie stat line:
Kendricks: 28 rec 352 yds 0 td
This would obviously improve, seeing as he's a bit more used to the league now, and there would be a load of talent around him.
So if we end up signing both Smith and Manningham, and Blackmon is available at 6, I very much hope that we take him. If we do, I'll be very, very excited about our passing attack this upcoming season.
Source for Giants stats: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nyg/2009.htm