Now that the St. Louis Rams have swung a deal with the Washington Redskins for the sixth spot in this year's draft, the debate can begin anew about what to do in that spot. Already, the possibility of Michael Brockers has been mentioned. You can expect to read much more about the possibility of Justin Blackmon as the Rams' pick in the weeks leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.
Needless to say, the most recent 2012 NFL mock drafts are divided on the matter.
Plus, the hype factor around Blackmon is high after his Friday pro day, which seems like an eternity ago ... and was given the news cycle of the last 18 hours.
This mock from Walter Football has the Rams picking Blackmon. Interesting enough, they have Michael Floyd being drafted immediately after him.
But let's get back to Blackmon.
Tony Pauline at SI.com raved about Blackmon's pro day performance. He even called him a top-four pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
... Justin Blackmon met or exceeded expectations. As reported earlier his 40 times, which will officially end up in the mid 4.4-second range (4.46), were faster than anyone thought possible. Despite reports the workout was run on a fast surface, OSU coaches told scouts and others it's the same field turf used during the season. Blackmon ran solid routes during position drills, something he did at the combine and a skill he's worked hard on in the run-up to the draft. He displayed his patented soft hands, consistently plucking the pass from the air away from his frame and catching the ball with proper fundamentals. Except for two drops it was a spotless day for Blackmon, who heads toward the draft as a top-four pick.
The issue with Blackmon seems to be whether or not he can be a complete receiver in the NFL or whether he is just another, as 3k called it, higher-end version of what the Rams already have at the position.
Wes Bunting at the National Football Post says Blackmon would be a worthy pick for the Rams in the sixth spot, and might even get picked higher than that.
... because of his verified straight-line speed I can now see the Browns seriously consider him with the fourth pick as well as the Rams now at six.
Blackmon would be a great fit in the Browns west coast style offense because of his run after the catch ability and would instantly gives the Rams the kind of legit number one threat they need for their offense.
Bunting notes the potential for a big rookie year and bigger things beyond that for Blackmon.
However, based on the tape I still see a guy who is at his best shrugging off defenders on his vertical release and going up to attack the football. From a production standpoint I could see him having a similar rookie year to Julio Jones/ A.J. Green from this past season, as he looks like a guy who should be able to mature into one of the NFL's top ten receivers.
The Rams will not feel forced into anything with their draft status/swagger now. They have two second-round picks, #33 and #39, that they could use to find a receiver that falls, and one or two will fall. They could even use those picks to move up a little more if they wanted, into the later part of the first round.
Either way, expect the debate about Blackmon to continue.