Justin Blackmon

Justin Blackmon continues to struggle

Jacksonville Jaguars 1st-round pick Justin Blackmon has just three catches through his first two games, and was shut out on Sunday against the Texans.

Blackmon was on the field for 24 pass plays and was targeted three times, but failed to come down with a catch.

The issue for Blackmon is his route running and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Oklahoma State ran a fairly basic offense, which required very little of Blackmon other than to go deep. He was bigger, stronger and faster than most Big 12 defensive backs and wasn’t forced to refine his route running skills. He has the ability to develop into an elite receiver, but it will clearly take time.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jaguars, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Breaking down Justin Blackmon’s debut

Jacksonville Jaguars 1st-round pick Justin Blackmon had an inauspicious debut against the Vikings on Sunday.

Blackmon was supposed to give the Jaguars a serious downfield threat, but just one of the five balls thrown his direction was more than 10 yards down the field.  Blaine Gabbert may be partly to blame for the lack of success, but it was also clear that Blackmon was struggling to get open.

Blackmon was primarily matched up with Vikings rookie Josh Robinson, a matchup which should have worked in Blackmon’s favor.

It won’t get any easier for Blackmon next week, as the Jaguars host the Texans.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jaguars, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Blackmon behind schedule in Jacksonville

Jacksonville Jaguars 1st-round pick Justin Blackmon missed significant time due to a holdout early in camp, so it should come as no surprise that he isn’t up to speed with the rest of the first unit. Mike Mularkey confirmed as much, saying ““He’s still a little bit behind the eight ball with some of the things: splits, depths, reads.” The Florida Times-Union is also reporting that Blackmon’s playing time may be limited in his first preseason game.

It’s been a rough offseason for Blackmon, so it’s baffling why his agent advised him to hold out. Holdouts have never been a good way for rookies to endear themselves to teammates and coaches, but the issue is compounded now that the wage scale is in place.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jaguars, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Jacksonville Jaguars

I feel like I should apologize to Jacksonville Jaguars fans for GM Gene Smith. He continues to make a mockery of the NFL Draft. In his first few years at the helm Smith showed an inexplicable obsession with small school prospects. And while that phase seems to have passed, he’s moved on to 3rd-round punters and 28-year-old D-II players.

The Jags draft got off to a solid start with the selection of Justin Blackmon. They needed to upgrade the talent around Blaine Gabbert, and Blackmon will immediately jump to the top of their depth chart at receiver. If he lives up to expectations, Gabbert’s numbers should improve dramatically.

I also like the selection of Andre Branch, who fills their need for a pass rusher. Branch is still developing, but he’s in a good situation in Jacksonville where he can be a part of the rotation without having to stay on the field for every play. If they bring him along slowly as a rookie, he should be ready to be an impact player in 2013.

After two solid picks to start the draft, it went downhill in a hurry. Bryan Anger was far and away the best punter in this year’s draft class, but the 3rd round? It was a reach that could potentially be justified by a contending team with few holes to fill, but the Jaguars are in the midst of a full-fledged rebuilding process. There is no possible way for Gene Smith to justify this selection.

Brandon Marshall adds some depth at linebacker, but there were much better players on the board, such as Terrell Manning, who would have filled that same need.

Mike Harris was an odd pick in the 6th round. The Jaguars would have been well served to add a legitimate starting cornerback in the 1st or 2nd round, but depth at the position is actually a strength. Harris is undersized and, even at Florida State, was limited to primarily playing the nickel corner role.

Jeris Pendleton is a 28-year-old from a Division-II school. The Jaguars will use him at nose tackle, and he could potentially be forced into a starting role early if Terrance Knighton isn’t ready for the start of the season. It’s an experiment that could go horribly wrong, and they don’t appear to have a backup plan in place.

Gene Smith has officially taken over the Al Davis role as most unpredictable general manager on draft day. And while most of his picks leave much to be desired, this should still prove to be an average draft class for the Jaguars. Blackmon and Branch are two quality additions, but the lack of help from the late rounds means there’s no margin for error with those two.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Jaguars Leave a comment

Justin Blackmon scouting report

Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
Ht: 6’1″

Wt: 211

Good overall size. Elite strength. A physical receiver who can easily fight through press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Big, strong hands. Shows the ability make the tough catch in the traffic. Efficient route runner; makes quick, clean cuts to gain separation. A tough runner after the catch; willing to take a hit and drag defenders with him. Has a reputation for being a hard worker off the field.
Effort and focus appears to be lacking at times; he’ll make the tough catches but then drop an easy one. Arrested and suspended for one game for a DUI charge in 2010. Speed is adequate, but lacks the burst to be consistent deep threat.
Blackmon’s biggest obstacle will be convincing teams that his character concerns – both off-field incidents and on-field lack of focus – will not effect his performance at the next level. He has a similar skill set to former teammate Dez Bryant, and his effectiveness in the same offensive scheme is reason to believe he can take his game to the next level. In terms of his on-field transition to the next level, Blackmon will need to become more of a possession receiver. Oklahoma State’s spread offense opens up space for Blackmon which he will not be able to create at the next level. Don’t expect him to light up the NFL from day one, but given a year or two develop he should begin to show Pro Bowl caliber skills.
2011 vs Arizona
2011 vs Texas A&M
2011 vs Kansas State
2010 vs Baylor 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 3 Comments