JUSTIN BLACKMON: QUICK TAKE
Player: Justin Blackmon
Ht: 6-1. Wt: 207.
Round 1, Selection No. 5.
School: Oklahoma State.
Quick bio: Blackmon caught 253 passes in three seasons at Oklahoma State for 3,564 yards and 40 touchdowns, catching 122 passes for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore. He ranks second in school history and sixth in Big 12 history in career receptions.
Blackmon says: "It's a dream come true."
How it happenedThe Jaguars traded the No. 7 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft and the 101st selection in the draft – a fourth-round selection – to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to trade up for the player many considered the best wide receiver in the draft. The trade capped a wild hour of speculation about possible trades up, speculation that began as the draft approached.
Quick takeThe Jaguars needed help at wide receiver, and in the weeks leading to the draft, Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith indicated that the draft was deep enough at the position that it would be possible to get help there deep into Rounds 2-3. As it turned out, the chance to trade up to get the play-making, productive Blackmon was too much to pass up. Significant here is that the Jaguars did not give up a great deal to move up. The Cleveland Browns had given up a 4th, 5th and 7th selection to move up one spot and take Alabama running back Trent Richardson at No. 3. The Jaguars by comparison gave up a significantly lower selection, with the fourth round not nearly as high a price as say, a second-rounder – particularly in this draft. This gives the Jaguars a chance to go defensive tackle with the No. 6 selection of the second round.
What he bringsIf Blackmon was anything in college, he was productive. There have been questions about his size and speed. Neither is considered prototypical. But Blackmon is said to have outstanding body control and balance, and also has a knack for making plays on the ball. Blackmon in college also had a knack for playing his best in big games. In short, he was a play-maker. Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri quickly tweeted in the wake of the selection that teams would no longer be able to play 8 or 9 players in the box against the Jaguars, something that was a problem last season when teams stacked the box against Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the league's leading rusher last season.
Why it happened The Jaguars needed to improve a passing game that ranked No. 32 in the NFL last season. They also needed help for second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert. They made a bold move to do it, and it wasn't a move that cost them an incredible amount to make.