The opinions and analysis contained in this feature are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the Seahawks’ coaching staff and personnel department.
He has been compared to Calvin Johnson, the pass-snatching machine for the Detroit Lions. He also has been compared to Brandon Marshall, which can be good or bad depending on which day you catch Marshall.
But the big question concerning Justin Blackmon entering the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26 is whether the Oklahoma State wide receiver is indeed worth a Top 5 pick.
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com polled three teams for their “elite” players in this draft class and none included Blackmon among their five players worthy of that designation. Some are even suggesting that Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd could overtake Blackmon and be the first wide receiver selected.
It all prompts another question: What’s a guy got to do? All Blackmon did in 2010 was catch 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. For his encore last season, it was 113 catches for 1,337 yards and 15 TDs. Not surprisingly, he won the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in the country – twice.
The 6-foot, 207-pound Blackmon also scored during his Q&A session at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he was shorter (6-1) and lighter (215) than listed in college:
Q: How important is it to be the first receiver selected in the draft?
A: “It’s very important. But at the same time I’m just happy to be in this situation, happy to have the opportunity to be here. There are a lot of great receivers in this draft. I’m just happy I got the opportunity to be in the draft.”
Q: How do you handle being compared to Calvin Johnson?
A: “I wouldn’t say it, but he’s a big, physical guy and that’s how I like to play. I’m not as big as him, so I don’t know why people would compare me like that. But I try to be as physical as I can.”
Q: OK, then how about the comparisons to Terrell Owens?
A: “I’d like to look to be sort of like him because his work ethic is real good and I like to work as hard as I can. The way he is as he plays, one person never brings him down and that’s how I try to play.”
Q: Do you compare yourself to A.J. Green and Julio Jones (who went at No. 4 and No. 6 in the draft last year)?
A: “They are very great athletes. They came into the league and did a really good job last year. They had really good rookie seasons, both A.J. and Julio. I am very competitive, so I would put myself right up there with them. I like to compete, so I’m not going to down myself and say that I’m not just as good as them.”
Q: Is there a fine line between being confident and lobbying for the ball too much?
A: “I think there is. But I think the position is such that if you don’t ask for the ball, it may never come your way. You’ve got to throw it out there at some point. I lobbied a few times – when I felt like we weren’t moving the ball so well. I said, ‘Just give it a shot at least.’ After that shot, if it doesn’t work, I don’t say anything. But at least give it a try.”
Q: The Rams hold the No. 6 pick. But their quarterback is Sam Bradford, who played at Oklahoma. Would it be weird catching passes from him?
A: “Not at all. Sam is a great quarterback. I’m sure we can put our differences aside.”