Blackmon soaring up the draft boards
It’s a bit starling to see Justin Blackmon’s name on these mock draft boards.
I mean, we all know that the former Oklahoma State wide receiver is a superstar. We saw it with our own eyes these past couple of seasons. This past fall, in particular, you could just see how Blackmon was playing at a different level, a higher level than the other 21 players on the field.
It was the whole man-among-boys phenomenon.
And yet, to see him as a consensus top-10 draft pick with a legitimate shot at being a top-three pick?
Blackmon, in my mind, will always be the kid from Plainview High. He was a small-school standout, but despite some eye-popping stats, he was still lightly recruited. He definitely wasn’t the marquee player in the Cowboys’ 2008 recruiting class. On Signing Day 2008, here’s what we wrote about Blackmon’s possible long-term impact:
After he adds some weight, he could blossom into a 205-pound target with good speed.
He blossomed all right … into a pass-catching, game-changing, defense-terrorizing monster.
And now, he is on the verge of pro-football riches and draft-day notoriety.
Being the second or third player picked in the draft would be amazing end to a meteoric rise. Players who’ve been selected in those spots during the past few years include Von Miller (No. 2, 2011), Ndamukong Suh (No. 2, 2010), Jason Smith (No. 2, 2009), Chris Long (No. 2, 2008) and Matt Ryan (No. 3, 2008). Those guys have all had big-time impacts even in a short amount of time.
Blackmon could have a similar imprint on whatever team selects him.
Even if he “falls” to the eighth or ninth, there are still plenty of impact players who’ve been picked in that neck of the draft woods. Three years ago, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree was drafted 10th by the San Francisco 49ers. This weekend, he’ll be playing for a spot in the Super Bowl.
It’s pretty awe-inspiring to consider where Blackmon’s career may be headed.
And the truth is, he gave himself this opportunity. He committed himself to the workouts and the conditioning regimen when he first arrived in Stillwater, adding the strength and the speed to the skill that he already had. He made the most of practice, including those days on the scout team when he was catching passes from some third-string quarterback named Brandon Weeden. Turned out to pay pretty big dividends, huh?
I hate to sound like those commentators on TV who say, “Now, young players need to watch how this player does this”, but the truth is, there’s a great lesson in what Blackmon has done. Here it is, kids — Blackmon put in the work to make this whole thing possible.
Who knows where Blackmon will ultimately land? St. Louis? Minnesota? Jacksonville? But no matter what NFL hamlet he ends up calling home, this much is sure.
He’ll have earned his spot there.
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