Blackmon has proven to be as athletic as Bryant and even more productive. He has elite ability to contribute early in the NFL and should be selected within the top 15 picks and start immediately.
He would be a severe mismatch working out of the slot, something he did occasionally at OSU. Blackmon is extremely polished in his technique in-phase, and he has an incredible ability to vary his speed to keep defenders off balance. He is slow off the line but is able to release with ease by utilizing both his strength and jab steps.
Blackmon is a natural receiver who understands how to read coverages and sit down in zones. He is a very aggressive catcher who literally attacks the ball when it is within his large catching radius, and he has the ability to use his frame to box out defenders.
Blackmon can naturally adjust to poorly thrown balls on the run and can bail quarterbacks out of poorly thrown balls.
Much of his production comes from being a playmaker at the point of the catch and afterwards; he doesn't get himself open through route running. As a blocker, he is an all-or-nothing type who can't recover once whiffing on a block.
He will need a lot of work on his technique in this area. Blackmon's stride could stand to be his biggest problem at the next level, as it could be difficult to get open against premier athletes with the amount of gathering and stuttering it takes in his footwork to change directions."
Blackmon redshirted his first season in Stillwater, but came on as the team's most productive newcomer in 2009. His 20 receptions covered 260 yards and two touchdowns, helping to overcome the loss of Bryant to NCAA suspension for lying to investigators.
He lit up opponents consistently in '10 with 111 receptions for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. Blackmon gained over 100 yards receiving and at least one touchdown in all 12 games in which he played in 2010, including 5-157-2 against a tough Nebraska squad (playing against top CB Prince Amukamara) and 9-172-2 in the team's 36-10 dismantling of Arizona in the Alamo Bowl.
Scouts are a bit dubious about Blackmon, however, wondering if he will end up more like former OSU stud receivers Adarius Bowman or Rashaun Woods than like Bryant. His midseason DUI arrest will not help his character grade. However, even with average speed for his size, his strength and hands should make him a solid value in the top 40 selections.
Release: Physical player able to get off press coverage to release up the sideline or position himself inside the cornerback on slants and crossing routes. Does not have elite speed to separate after his release but uses strength to get a half-step on defensive backs.
Hands: Has strong hands any NFL receivers coach and quarterback would covet for their team. Tracks the deep ball over either shoulder and brings in passes fluidly without breaking stride down the field. Fights for the ball in the air, has good vertical explosiveness and strong hands to bring it down in traffic. Does not always use his hands to secure deep throws, allowing the ball into his pads and chest. Had a few drops in 2010, losing concentration when trying to make a move or feeling a hit coming.
Route Running: Typically lines up outside, but will be in the slot at times to use his physicality to move the chains. Best when using his size to get inside position for slants and post patterns. Often used on deep routes, getting separation down the sideline or over the middle on crossing routes by extending his arms rather than pure speed. Flashes the feet and balance to excel on comeback routes, but only occasionally runs that route in OSU's offense. Will come back to help his quarterback when coverage breaks down.
After the Catch: Strong runner with the ball with enough agility to make defenders miss in the open field. Used on quick screens despite his size because he can head-fake linebackers and stiff-arm smaller defenders. Aware of the sideline, gets two feet inbounds and can quickly turn upfield to get additional yardage. Does not have exceptional straight-line speed but takes advantage of open seams when his quarterback is on target. Combines his strength and fair acceleration to turn short passes into long gains when defenders are in his midst.
Blocking: Has enough upper-body strength and tenacity to be very effective as a downfield blocker. Is not shy about taking on his man, provides some pop and will open a running lane for his back at the next level. Inconsistent hitting his target or sustaining, however, allowing his man to get into the play.
Intangibles: Scouts have character concerns about Blackmon. Arrested for misdemeanor DUI in October 2010 and suspended for one game. Suffered a high left ankle sprain in 2010 against Kansas. Young player who was a full-time starter for only one season."
- The overall physical make-up of his frame. He's a big kid who possesses good length, strong hands and a compact body. Nothing leggy about it.
- Showcases a savvy off the line vs. press coverage. Changes speeds, looks off corners and exhibits natural change of direction skills to quickly get into his route.
- Possesses a good first step out of his breaks and reaches top end speed quickly.
- Knows how to work the three-step game, puts the corner on his hip and does a nice job boxing out the defender away from the football.
- Uses his length well to pluck the football off his frame and secure the catch. Is a natural plucker who does a very good job of snatching the football
- Exhibits excellent body control and coordination when asked to adjust and go make a play on the throw. Balances himself well down the field, fends off contact and explodes well vertically in order to win at the highest point in jump ball situations.
- Displays a natural feel near the sideline. Exhibits good field awareness and knows how to walk a tight rope and get his feet down.
- Demonstrates a physical element to his game after the catch. Uses his stiff-arm to fend off would be tacklers and also has the short area quickness/power to slip/break a tackle and accelerate into daylight.
- Displays natural balance and fluidity as a route runner. Can cleanly get out of breaks in the three-step game or on sharply breaking routes at the second level. His balance also shows up well when he needs to run through breaks quickly and find a soft spot in zone.
- Showcases impressive footwork for a bigger receiver, cleanly changing directions with good foot quickness and balance on any kind of double move.
- Tightens his route well out of his breaks when working back toward the quarterback, cutting down the angle of the defender in the process.
- Possesses the skill set to run the entire route tree and exhibits the ability to be effective lining up both inside and out.
- Showcases a decent effort blocking in the run game and has the size/athleticism to dominate.
- Has been extremely productive over the past two seasons, winning two straight Biletnikoff awards in the process.
- Is very competitive, wants to catch the football and has an obvious passion for the game.
What I don't like…
- There is no real second gear to his game. He doesn't have the ability to run away from defenders vertically.
- Concentration issues tend to pop up from time to time and he will put the football on the ground when working in traffic.
- Doesn't consistently extend his arms when working underneath game, lets the ball too often get into his frame and will give defenders the opportunity to get their hands on the football.
- Isn't going to run away from anyone in the open field. Runs some reverses at Oklahoma State and his lack of top-end speed shows up the way defenders quickly close down his angles.
- Gets a little gun shy at times working the middle of the field with defenders bearing down on him. Isn't afraid to work the middle, but I wouldn't say he's fearless either, as he will get caught peeking at defensive backs.
- Isn't the type of dominant downfield blocker his skill set says he should be at the college level. Can be shed at times too easily for my liking.
- There are some character concerns both on and off the field. Was suspended for one game in 2010 due to a mid-season DUI.
Impression: The lack of straight-line speed will limit him however, and when comparing him to first round receivers A.J. Green and Julio Jones last year, I don't think he's in their class. Nevertheless, he's got the skill set to line-up all over an NFL offense and make plays on all levels of the field."
Route Running: Blackmon’s route running has drastically improved each year at Oklahoma St. He needs to continue to work at this aspect of his game, particularly in terms of running crisper routes in order to get separation in man coverage. In the NFL, his routes will have to be crisp and precise due to his lack of top end speed.
After the Catch: Blackmon is dangerous with the ball in his hands. His strength makes him tough to bring down and has a natural feel for running in the open field. What he lacks in straight line speed is made up for with his explosion. He gets to top end speed quickly and uses a brutal stiff arm to fend of defenders. He will have to work on ball security at the next level to avoid becoming a fumbler. His run after the catch abilities make him so special and set him apart from others.
Athleticism: Blackmon’s overpowering strength, explosion, and agility make him an elite athlete at the position. His leaping ability combined with an ability to shield defenders in the air make him a force in the redzone and in jump ball situations. His 6’1” frame is not indicative of his style of play as he plays much bigger than that. Has a suddenness and explosion in his running style that is seen in running backs.
Bottom Line: Blackmon has been lauded by coaches for his work ethic and character despite a DUI arrest. It appears that was the exception and not the rule. From a production standpoint he has few peers. With only a few minor negatives to his game, Blackmon should be able to contribute at a high level immediately in the NFL. He compares favorably to Dez Bryant without all the headaches.
Draft Projection: Blackmon is a top 10 pick."
Has excellent downfield ball skills and consistently wins jump balls in the air.
Intense, competitive and confident — plays bigger than his size and makes difficult catches look routine.
Very good body control. Tracks the ball extremely well and shows terrific concentration in traffic.
Very strong hands to snatch the ball away from defensive backs.
Has a wide catching radius and brandishes a powerful stiff-arm.
Average initial quickness off the line and lacks top-end speed to separate.
Shows some tightness in his hips and is not a creative or elusive runner in the open field.
Does not power through contact.
Production is inflated from a spread offense that does not require receivers to run a full route tree and has a history of inflating the production of its receivers."
Hands: Blackmon has good hands and will make tough catches, but tends to have some lapses. He dropped several catchable balls as a junior and made some questionable plays. Needs to get better at grabbing the ball out of the air when going over the middle. Needs to hold the ball higher and tighter after the catch.
Release: Powerful at the line of scrimmage to beat the press and get into his route progression. Gets off the line effortlessly and doesn't make a wasted step. Is often compared to Anquan Boldin because of his ability to use strength to get off the line.
Route Running: Is largely used on the outside but saw more time in 2011 in the slot. Likes to use his size to get open down the field. For the most part, Blackmon has been used on slants and deep go routes. It's not something that should be held against him, though, if he's not asked to run complex routes. Appears to have the foot quickness and smarts to learn a full route tree.
Size: Blackmon isn't the biggest wide receiver, but he knows how to use his frame to his advantage. He's strong and knows how to use his strength, which is why many compare him to Anquan Boldin. He's not the tallest wide receiver, though, and looks to have just average arm length.
Speed: One of the things that keeps Blackmon from being considered elite is his lack of top speed. He doesn't have the next gear to break a reception wide open and needs space to get up to top speed.
Final Word: Interviews will be important for Blackmon as teams may question his character. He was charged with misdemeanor DUI in 2010 and was suspended for one game. More importantly, they make question him about the Oklahoma State offense. It never required him to learn complicated offensive philosophies, but he was wildly productive. As a junior, he had 121 receptions for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns. Comparatively, it was a down season compared to 2010 when he had 111 receptions for 17,82 yards and 20 touchdowns."
Lacks elite straight-line speed, but has a thick lower body and has good power and explosion; can shrug defenders off at the line of scrimmage and uses strength to get separation downfield; tracks the ball well and is a good leaper who can outjump smaller corners when the ball is in the air;
Has very good concentration and hands; also a very good route-runner who creates space coming out of his break; dangerous with the ball after the catch and is very effective on bubble screens and drag routes; gets upfield quickly and is tough to wrap-up; does have a receiver’s mentality, though, and not is the retiring type."
Runs well after the catch... Good body control when he's in the air, adjusts to the ball very well... has a good vertical jump, makes a lot of acrobatic catches... Unbelievably productive this year with 102 catches for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns... Had 100+ yards in every game he played in this year and a 38+ yard reception in 10 of 11 games...
Nobody has proven capable of slowing him down, had five catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns against Nebraska (Prince Amukamara) this year... Has put up bigger numbers than Dez Bryant who has transitioned well to the NFL... Always gives 100percent on the field, a great competitor.
Negatives: Biggest weakness is that he's not a great route runner, needs to work on making sharper cuts to get separation in man coverage...
Played in Oklahoma State's spread offense which focused on getting him the ball and inflated his statistics... Received a DUI in October, 2010 which resulted in a one game suspension... Would benefit staying for his Junior year, would challenge Alshon Jeffrey for the number one receiver spot next year."
His route running lacks explosion, but he does well to confuse defenders using body language and quick feet.
He's fast enough to get behind defenders and does great to go after deep passes.
Blackmon can work between the hashes willingly. If not in the mix early, he can lose focus and not sell out on routes.
He could improve after the catch and needs to be more violent when he secures the ball in order to break tackles and get free."