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NFL Draft: Analyzing Justin Blackmon's possible NFL destinations

Compiled by Gina Mizell, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: April 24, 2012
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NO. 3 TO MINNESOTA

Quarterback: Christian Ponder looked a lot like a rookie in 2011. He ranked 29th in completion percentage (54.3) and 30th in quarterback rating (70.1).


Supporting cast: Former Oklahoma star Adrian Peterson is still one of the NFL's premier running backs when healthy (970 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns before the knee injury in 2011). Percy Harvin is a versatile weapon.

Why they need Blackmon: Harvin isn't a No. 1 receiver. Having a playmaker on the outside like Blackmon would help Ponder's development.

Why they don't: Left tackle might be a greater need, making USC's Matt Kalil a logical pick. LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne is another option.

Coach/franchise: Leslie Frazier, who was at OSU's Pro Day last month to watch Blackmon, went 3-13 in his first full season. The Vikings' quest for a new stadium is up to state legislature.

City/fan base/quality of life: Minneapolis-St. Paul was rated the No. 14 sports town in America by The Sporting News but is known to have fair-weathered Vikings fans. It also gets a wee bit chilly up there in the winter.

Chance Blackmon lands here: 15 percent

Last three No. 3 overall picks: Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama (Bills); Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma (Buccaneers); Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU (Chiefs)

NO. 4 TO CLEVELAND

Quarterback: The Browns are either confident in Colt McCoy or will draft one — perhaps Brandon Weeden with the 22nd or 37th overall pick.

Supporting cast: Greg Little and Josh Cribbs combined for 102 receptions, more than 1,200 yards and six touchdowns in 2011. The Browns lost Peyton Hillis to Kansas City in free agency. Offensive lineman Joe Thomas made the Pro Bowl this past season.

Why they need Blackmon: The Browns need better weapons around McCoy. Cleveland also appears to be the most likely destination for Weeden, meaning the chemistry of the Weeden2Blackmon combination could live on in the NFL.

Why they don't: Elite running backs are tough to find, but Alabama's Trent Richardson has the potential to be one. The Browns have a huge hole at that position without Hillis. Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill and Claiborne are other options.

Coach/franchise: The Browns are tied for the NFL's second-longest active playoff drought, making their last postseason appearance in 2002. Team president Mike Holmgren is one of the most respected minds in football.

City/fan base/quality of life: Browns fans are among the most rabid and long-suffering in the NFL.

Chance Blackmon lands here: 17 percent

Last three No. 4 picks: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia (Bengals); Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma (Redskins); Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest (Seahawks)

NO. 5 TO TAMPA BAY

Quarterback: What the heck happened to Josh Freeman in 2011? He threw six interceptions in 2010, 22 last season. He's still a promising young quarterback with a strong arm and great mobility.

Supporting cast: The Bucs have some young pieces in place in running back LaGarrette Blount and wide receiver Mike Williams. Ex-OU offensive lineman Davin Joseph was a Pro Bowler this season. Tampa Bay also added former Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson in free agency.

Why they need Blackmon: Really, they don't. Signing Jackson filled that need.

Why they don't: See above.

Coach/Franchise: Raheem Morris was fired as head coach after the Bucs ended the season on a 10-game losing streak and was replaced by former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. Tampa Bay last made the playoffs in 2007.

City/fan base: While college football tends to dominate the state, Florida football fans are certainly knowledgeable and passionate. The beaches and sunshine in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area would be a nice perk.

Other options: LSU CB Morris Claiborne, Alabama RB Trent Richardson

Chance Blackmon lands here: 1 percent

Last three No. 5 overall picks: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU (Cardinals); Eric Berry, S, Tennessee (Chiefs); Mark Sanchez, QB, USC (Jets)

NO. 6 TO ST. LOUIS

Quarterback: Sam Bradford struggled in a 2011 season where he was hampered by a sprained ankle. He ranked 31st in the NFL in completion percentage (53.5) and 29th in quarterback rating (70.5) and threw just six touchdown passes in 10 games. But it's borderline silly to write the former Sooner off already, especially considering he was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010 and nearly led the Rams to the NFC West title that season.

Supporting cast: Steven Jackson is still a solid running back, gaining 1,145 yards last season.

Why they need Blackmon: No Ram played in this season's Pro Bowl. Enough said. Blackmon would give Bradford a dangerous weapon in the passing game that was sorely lacking last season.

Why they don't: Blackmon won't solve all of St. Louis' problems. That's why it's feasible to think the Rams will try to trade down, even after already trading out of the No. 2 spot so the Redskins could take Robert Griffin III, in order to acquire more picks.

Coach/franchise: As noted above, the Rams nearly won a woeful NFC West in 2010 but haven't made the playoffs since 2004. After this past season's 2-14 debacle, coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Bill Devaney were replaced with Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, respectively. Fisher is a proven coach.

City/fan base: St. Louis is a baseball town first and foremost. But having Blackmon and Bradford both on the Rams would make the team quite popular in Oklahoma.

Other options: USC OT Matt Kalil, Alabama RB Trent Richardson, LSU CB Morris Claiborne

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