The day has finally arrived. Friday is the Oklahoma State pro day event. Scouts and coaches from most, if not all, NFL teams will descend on Stillwater, OK, for a look at the handful of prospects trying to make their case to play in the pros. Justin Blackmon will be the star of the show, with quarterback Brandon Weeden playing a key supporting role. The St. Louis Rams will be there, paying particular attention to Blackmon and making determinations about exactly where in the draft he should be picked.
Right now, Blackmon is the top receiver on the board in the eyes of most experts, but he faces enough questions about his overall ability that there is ample debate on the matter.
In the latest mock drafts from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, the Rams picked Blackmon ... in the second spot. Both those guys noted that the Rams were almost guaranteed to trade down to the fourth or sixth spot where Blackmon would be a more viable alternative. But would he?
3k mentioned something on Twitter this morning that cuts right to the heart of the matter.
@BrennanJSmith @TurfShowTimes @Shields3L That gets at why I'm not interested in Blackmon. He's a plus version of what we already have.— Joe McAtee (@3k_) March 9, 2012
Think of him like a Danny Amendola that can get a few more yards after the catch, something that Greg Salas also looks capable of doing with some refinement and a better offense.
What the Rams offense needs at receiver more than anything is either a prototypical big man receiver, someone like a Brandon Marshall or, in the we-can-dream category, Larry Fitzgerald. Michael Floyd, Stephen Hill or Rueben Randle from LSU all have that potential.
Hill brings the vertical threat that represents the Rams' other big need at wide receiver. A field stretching receiver to line up on the outside, someone in the X role.
Back to Blackmon
Blackmon's pro day results will go along way toward clarifying his status in the draft. As ridiculous as forty times seem, Blackmon needs to post a positive result to reassure teams that he does have the speed to get down the field. Something in the 4.4s will light his draft stock on fire. A result in the 4.5s will leave the discussion status quo, and anything higher would only benefit the other receivers in the draft.