Recently I've been noticing that the Justin Blackmon hype train is getting a little out of control on TST (and elsewhere). I'm here to put a stop to it (or at least slow it down.) Find out why the Rams shouldn't take him after the jump.
The first reason the Rams shouldn't take Blackmon is that he isn't the best prospect on the board. In fact, he isn't even close. That honor belongs to University of Southern California Left Tackle Matt Kalil. Kalil is widely regarded as the best left tackle prospect to come along since Jake Long, and he might even be the better pass-protector of the two. Kalil plays at a position of higher importance and, arguably, a position of greater need for the Rams. Blackmon isn't even considered the top receiving prospect by some scouts. There are receivers later in the draft who are relatively close as a prospect to Blackmon, but there are no lineman later in the draft who can even hold Kalil's jock strap. IF the Rams don't trade down - and that's is a big "if" - Kalil is obviously the better, safer pick.
Some people are arguing that Blackmon should be the pick because they don't want another lineman drafted so highly due to the last one (Jason Smith) being a bust. That is flat-out ridiculous. Just because the last lineman was a bust doesn't mean that the next lineman will be. Another popular argument for Blackmon is that he is a "playmaker" and that Kalil doesn't put points on the board. While this may be true, Bradford can't be expected to get the ball to Blackmon without time in the pocket. Having Blackmon around isn't going to instantly open up the offense like some claim. Why not fix the offensive line, re-sign Brandon Lloyd, add a Tight End in free agency (Jermichael Finley?), and draft a complementary receiver (Ryan Broyles?) to pair with Lloyd and Danny Amendola? Then, go after that elusive number one receiver next season if the offense still lacks punch. It makes more sense to add the rest of the pieces first, and then try to add the number one receiver last. That mythical number one receiver is the last piece you want to add to an offense to put it over the top (see Randy Moss and the Patriots circa 2007).
Perhaps the best option for the Rams would be to trade down. Robert Griffin III is an outstanding QB prospect, and the bidding should be high. A trade package for RGIII would most likely involve both a ton of draft capital and an established player of two. The Rams are nowhere near contending for a super bowl, so the best route could be to take the best trade offer and get as much talent on the roster as possible.
Another reason the Rams shouldn't take Blackmon at number two is because he just isn't the special type of receiver that should be taken that high in the draft. He doesn't have the size or speed of a Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, or Julio Jones. He played in a very "receiver friendly" offense at Oklahoma State that featured a 28 year old quarterback playing behind a great offensive line. Blackmon had an easy time getting open because of the way the offense was designed. He just won't have that luxury in the NFL.
I'm not saying that Blackmon is a bad player, just that he isn't the right pick for the Rams. He may be the sexy pick, but there are clearly better options on the table.