Mar 1, 2012

Browns Draft Report: Justin Blackmon

WR, Oklahoma State, 6’1” 215
Report: Blackmon is easily the best receiver in this class. Compiling over 40 TDs in just over two full seasons, Blackmon has easily been the top WR in college over that time. While he doesn’t have great size, he uses it well. He has the ability to catch in traffic, run precise routes, break tackles, and be a legitimate deep threat. His skills are there to be a #1 WR in the NFL. He has tremendous hands and knows how to use them. What this means is that he attacks the ball. He can catch the ball at the highest point, yet doesn’t jump when he doesn’t need to. This allows him to gain yards faster and break tackles. While many WRs are hyped on their “great hands” not all of them utilize that to the full.
The biggest question mark on Blackmon is his top speed. While he was a deep threat in college, some question whether or not he can accelerate past defenders in the NFL.
While projected as a top 10 pick, Blackmon clearly seems a notch below some other top 10 picks. He doesn’t have the same size or speed as AJ Green, Julio Jones, or Calvin Johnson. I agree those are all great WRs, but why I just don’t think Blackmon is in that category. Don’t get me wrong, his potential is there, but is he worth a top 5 pick? Do we know he can be a consistent 1000 yard receiver?
How the Browns could get him: Assuming we don’t do a terrible trade-up scenario for RG3, the Browns could very well see Blackmon on the board at 4. There is a good chance that Minnesota would take him at 3, but they have as many holes as we do. If Wash. Or Miami trade up to 2 for RG3, this would be a likely scenario at 4.
What he could do for the Browns: We haven’t had a playmaker in quite some time on offense. In fact, since the Browns came back, the only player I can think of that teams really had to game plan against was Braylon. And that was only for a season, building defenses are great an all, but there is only so long you can run such a pathetic offence. Blackmon would be the Browns clear #1 WR, moving Little over to #2. This gives us a very young and talented tandem to build on. With Blackmon drawing doubles, Little could have a breakout season. This also gives Colt a weapon to end the “Colt doesn’t have weapons” argument.
Concerns: Drafting top 10 receivers are very risky. Everyone knows the Lions’ track record when drafting WRs. Many are perceived to be a future All-Pro, yet fizzle out. While Blackmon had the stats, he doesn’t have the same speed, size, or vertical as other recent top 10 receivers. If he was in last years draft he could’ve easily fallen to the 20’s.
Also, can Colt get him the ball? This is a big question mark. Colt cannot throw the deep ball. Period. What is a top WR going to do when he can get the ball? What if Blackmon starts to get unhappy because he’s not getting enough touches? It’s a slippery slope when drafting a WR in the top 5. Most don’t pan out.
And the biggest concern has to be the most obvious and important. WRs do NOT win games. It took years for Detroit to put together a winning team with Calvin Johnson. They needed an entire defense (we don’t have), a top-notch QB (we don’t have), and a HC/play-calling that opens the ball up (100% don’t have) 

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