WR Justin Blackmon Draft Profile
6’1″ – 210 lbs
Strengths – Blackmon is a great receiver prospect who has size, ability and the intelligence to be very successful on the next level. While his 6’1″, 210 lb frame may not jump out to you as a big guy, he is truly built. He is strong and in that sense, he is difficult for cornerbacks to cover. He displays nice speed for an elite receiver (According to cbssport.com writer, Rob Rang, Blackmon ran around a 4.4 sec. 40-yard dash time) and has strong hands. On top of that, he catches the ball away from his body and does a good job of plucking the ball out of the air. He is a great jump-ball receiver due to his terrific leaping ability and strength. This allows him to beat most cornerbacks up to the ball and then use his hands and pure strength to wrestle the ball away from defenders. When he catches the ball, Blackmon is a playmaker who found success in the open field in college. He runs clean routes and is fully capable of running routes from the outside receiver spots or the slot, creating major mismatches for the defense. Blackmon is also an intelligent receiver who understands the game to a point where he can read and understand coverages and sit down in holes of zone coverage.
Weaknesses – For all of the talent that Blackmon possesses, he isn’t supremely athletic. He is fast, but doesn’t display tremendous speed. He is big and strong, but doesn’t have the height or strength to simply dominate every defender he could face. This presents questions for what Blackmon’s ceiling is in the NFL and how much of difference maker he can be. He also struggles a bit with his “off the line” speed because he is a long strider. He starts plays slowly off the line of scrimmage due to these long strides and while he is still capable of separation due to his strength, there is concern if this lack of elite acceleration and quickness could limit his potential. The long strides also limit how effective some of his routes are because he can’t make as quick of a cut to set up a defender.
Thoughts – Blackmon is certainly talented and should be a top-10 pick because the strengths of his game simply outweigh any weaknesses that are pointed out about his game. I watched his final game for Oklahoma State against Stanford in the Orange Bowl and he was a man among boys. Stanford had no answer for his physicality and, despite his straight-line speed being a question mark, his ability to distance himself from defenders. He essentially took the game into his hands and dominated it from there. Blackmon does seem to lack the dominating characteristic that you normally see from a star receiver, but he is so solid in every category relating to playing the wide receiver position that I don’t think it matters. He is big, strong, a great catcher and is fast enough to provide a deep threat. Blackmon is really the total package as a receiver.
Comparison – There are a couple names that make sense here. One that is mentioned by WalterFootball.com is Terrell Owens. While Owens is a future Hall of Famer and Blackmon is merely a draft prospect, there does appear to be some similarities. Both are big, physical receivers who have enough speed to be threats, but not enough to blow away the faster defenders. Heck, even Blackmon is a little expressive much like T.O. With that said, I feel like Owens is the level that Blackmon could reach, with the more realistic comparison at this point being Anquan Boldin. Boldin is much like Owens and Blackmon, but Boldin is closer to Blackmon’s size, and catches the ball very well like Blackmon does. Owen hasn’t always been known for his trustworthy hands though. Boldin is a player who doesn’t possess top-end, straight-line speed, but has made a living by being physical, and from that, capable of pushing pressure on the defense downfield. Blackmon and Boldin both lack overwhelming athleticism, but more than make up for it by being the total receiving package and, in turn, game changers.
Justin Blackmon Scouting Reports