By Eli Nachmany
Players’ draft stocks rise and fall in the month of April somewhat unpredictably, as teams make their final judgments on athletes’ interviews, workouts and game films.
While South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore shoots up the draft board (he could end up being a top ten pick), Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon isn’t seeing the same kind of success this month.
The problem with Blackmon? A number of scouts just aren’t blown away by the receiver’s game film and question whether a guy who is just over six feet tall can be effective when he didn’t have a signature game in college.
Certainly, this pass catcher put up big numbers and no one is doubting the player’s production, but evaluators are questioning his ability to beat NFL corners after not seeing him toy with collegiate corners like Kendall Wright or even Michael Floyd.
I still believe Blackmon is the first receiver off the board, because he is a good fit in the Rams offense (no way the Browns select him fourth) and is just a cleaner prospect than Michael Floyd in terms of translating NFL abilities.
Reports have now tabbed Blackmon as a guy with poor work ethic and sub-par athleticism compared to what people originally thought. After opting not to do a number of drills in Indianapolis, Blackmon has fallen down some boards as a prospect.
Watch out, though, as the Rams may look to make a push for Steven Jackson’s replacement in Trent Richardson and if Blackmon falls past Jackson, the slide down the board could begin.