Justin Blackmon is clearly an elite talent, with the size and speed of a true No. 1. And I currently have him as my top rated receiver for 2012.
However, I am slightly concerned about his pass-catching technique.
While watching Blackmon dominate the Arizona secondary last Thursday, I noticed his tendency to let the ball come into his chest or his stomach. Rarely does he extend his arms and gently tuck the ball after corralling it with his hands.
The play at the 1:36 point on this video is a good example:
On this particular play Blackmon does a nice job tracking the ball over his shoulder, but he lets it land down on his hip. He clearly has a step on the defensive backs and easily could have adjusted to make the catch, but instead takes a lazy approach.
Now watch the following play.
In this play the ball is high, forcing Blackmon to extend his arms and make the catch with his hands. He does an excellent job plucking the ball from above his shoulders and quickly turning to run for the 1st down.
It’s clear that Blackmon has the ability to make these plays, but his consistency is lacking.
Why does this matter?
In college Blackmon is such an elite talent that few cornerbacks or linebackers are in position to make a hit on him immediately following the reception. This allows him to easily corral the ball with his hands or his arms. On an NFL field, however, space is limited. He’ll be making more catches in traffic and if the defender and the ball arrive at the same time, he will experience a dramatic increase in drops.
This is a very correctable flaw in Blackmon’s game, but it is one that NFL teams will keep an eye on throughout the rest of this season and in his pre-draft workouts.
Boise State left tackle Nate Potter has been one of the most over-hyped prospects this offseason, with some draft analysts projecting him as a potential 1st-round pick.
Potter can prove his worth on Saturday
Potter has done an adequate job in his 21 games as a starter but he has never shown the dominant form that you would expect from a 1st-round pick playing in the WAC.
Thanks to Boise State’s relatively weak schedule, Potter will likely only have two opportunities to prove to scouts that he has elite NFL talent, and one of those chances comes this weekend against Georgia [the other being TCU].
The Bulldogs don’t have a dominant front seven, but defensive coordinator Todd Grantham runs an NFL-style 3-4 defense that is sure to throw some new looks at Potter and the Boise State offensive line. How Potter reacts could go a long way towards determining his draft stock in April.
North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples is reportedly being investigated by the NCAA for his actions at a post-draft party hosted by Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn, according to ESPN.
Coples is an early candidate to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft (assuming the team at No. 1 doesn’t need a quarterback).
According to the ESPN report: “The NCAA wants to know how Coples paid for his travel to the party, who paid for his admission and his hotel, and if he accepted any free food or drink.”
Hopefully there’s something more to the story that isn’t being reported, because if the NCAA investigates every player who travels to another city and attends a party it’s going to be along summer. At some point the NCAA needs to just let college kids be college kids and stop monitoring their every move.