Jan 2, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Justin Blackmon (81) watches from the sidelines late in the fourth quarter of a game against the Stanford Cardinal in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cowboys won 41-38 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

The Blackmon Contingency Plan


 

What If The Rams Can’t Have Justin Blackmon?

The Rams have done a great job in free agency so far. I haven’t heard a single pundit make a harsh criticism of their moves. They have upgraded 3 positions so far. Unfortunately, the wide receiver position looks as bad as ever. Please quickly disregard anyone who thinks the Rams could have upgraded this position in free agency this year. The money divided by the value of talent would not have been equal, and the Rams did a better job of finding value at other positions. And as far as those out there yelling for the Rams to bring in Braylon Edwards or Plaxico Burress, forget about it. We are undergoing a youth movement. I think we will probably bring in a veteran or two for training camp, but it will be a tryout. We are going to improve at wide receiver through the draft. This was clear after about 24 hours of free agency, so buckle up- it could be a bumpy ride.

The clear choice for a number one receiver is Justin Blackmon. His production, character, athleticism, floor, and ceiling as a player make him very desirable for the Rams. The good news is the Rams appear to be in the right spot to draft him at #6. But the draft is a harsh mistress, you never know what she is going to do. Five teams will pick ahead of the Rams, and two of them are pure locks to select a quaterback. The Rams are gambling that next three picks after the QB’s will not be a WR. This is a strong gamble, because all 3 of those teams, not to mention ones that could possibly trade up., need a wide-reciever.

So what do the Rams do if they don’t get Blackmon? Instead of working through the details of trading picks, moving down, moving up, etc. I’d like to discuss who else could be an elite play-maker at wide-receiver in this draft. I think there are 3 clear game-breakers after Blackmon this year that could be had in the late 1st and early second round. There are benefits and negatives to all three. Here they are…

Micheal Flloyd- Great hands, great route runner, with superb separation skills. He also helped his stock a lot by showing some blazing speed at the combine. His character and passion for the game leave something to be desired. He has always been productive, but struggles to keep his nose clean. To me, he is the next best receiver in this class.

Stephen Hill- Stephen Hill is 6’5 and ran the fastest 40 time for a wide-receiver at the combine. Did I mention he shows tremendous separation skills on film, and displays phenomenal hands. Due to Georgia Tech running a most unfriendly-wide-reciver-offense Hill has had little chance to display his true talent, so his film is limited. But what you do see is elite talent that could be polished into the best prospect of the class.

Kendall Wright- Wright was very productive in college and shows an elite ability to track and hunt down balls. He is a playmaker in the sense that he seems to always end up with the ball in his hands no matter what. Unfortunately he displayed very poor speed at the combine, something many thought would be a strength. It makes me dramatically consider the fact that he may not find the success at the NFL level due to the speed in the secondary. His game speed looks good, but you have to wonder if it will translate to the NFL. He is also a small receiver, which the Rams have plenty of already. Wright would be my last of these 3 options.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Go Rams.

 

@tylerbishop