With the sixth pick in the 2012 BGN Community Mock Draft, jhn selects...
Justin Blackmon: WR, Oklahoma State
So, the St. Louis Rams get to trade the 2nd overall pick to the Washington Redskins for the 6th overall pick, their second round pick, and their 2013 and 2014 first round picks, plus the top player at the position of the greatest need for the Rams still falls to them.
As Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith would say, "I love it when a plan comes together."
To say the Rams need receiving help would be an understatement. Last season, their leading receiver was Brandon Lloyd, who had 683 yards on 51 receptions. However, Lloyd wasn't even a member of the team until Week 5 after a trade with the Denver Broncos. Next on the list was Brandon Gibson with 36 receptions for 431 yards. The Rams were 30th in the league in passing with an average of just 179 yards per game.
Brandon Lloyd is now with the New England Patriots. The last receiver to have over 1,000 receiving yards in a Rams uniform was Torry Holt in 2007 with 93 receptions for 1,189 yards, hearkening back tothe Greatest Show on Turf days. Unfortunately for the Rams, those days are gone and Torry and Isaac Bruce aren't walking back through that door. (Well, Torry is, but just for a day so he can retire a Ram.)
More after the jump...
Enter Justin Blackmon. The Oklahoma State wide receiver was named the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's outstanding college football receiver in both 2010 and 2011, as well as being named to the Walter Camp All-America First Team in both years. His stat lines from these impressive seasons:
Rec Yds Avg Lng TD 2011 121 1522 12.6 67 18 2010 111 1782 16.1 81 20
But it's more than just the numbers. This is from the NFL.com draft profile on Blackmon: "A natural receiver, Blackmon understands how to read coverage and sit down in zones. He aggressively attacks the ball when it's in his large catching radius, and he uses his frame to box out defenders. He can also bail out quarterbacks with his skill for adjusting to poorly thrown balls on the run."
One question that arose about Blackmon was his speed. After not running the 40-yard dash at the Combine, there were concerns about his long speed, but he calmed those fears with a good showing atthe Oklahoma State Pro Day with a time of 4.46 seconds according to Oklahoma State. This is an excerpt from a stltoday.com article by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "He ran the 40 he needed to run," said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who was there. "It dispelled all the issues about what his long speed was."
Blackmon did have two drops on the day, but made up for them as he showcased the skills that have made him the top college receiver prospect in this year's draft. As Thomas notes, "But Blackmon made up for the drops with a couple of eye-opening catches on deep balls - his final catches of the day. The first looked overthrown from the moment it left Weeden's hand, but Blackmon used every ounce of speed to catch up to a ball thrown from midfield to the end zone. On the second deep pass, the wind seemed to move the ball around a bit, but Blackmon adjusted at full speed and hauled it in."
In attendance at the Pro Day were representatives from all 32 teams. Rams receivers coach Ray Sherman, director of college scouting John Mancini and director of player personnel Lawrence McCutcheon were among them. Perhaps the strongest endorsement of Blackmon came from a quote Thomas got from Sherman, when Sherman was asked if the 40 time was important. Sherman replied: "I coached a Hall of Famer in Jerry Rice. Everybody said he wasn't fast, and all I know is when he caught (the ball) nobody could catch him. And I went against guys like Michael Irvin. Those guys are football players. This guy - Justin Blackmon - is a football player."
St. Louis is going to need to get a bunch of "football players" with the king's ransom of picks they got from the Redskins, as well as their own picks, if they hope to make it back to being a top-level NFL franchise.
Selecting Justin Blackmon with the 6th pick gets them off to a great start.
Next on the clock will be Snax with the Jacksonville Jaguars.