By Mike Bonts
Florida Sports Wire
The Jacksonville Jaguars, with an eye to improving a dismal 5-11 record last season, chose Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon as their first pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft.
Despite signing Laurent Robinson this offseason, the Jaguars are looking for weapons to help second-year QB Blaine Gabbert mature. Jacksonville traded places with Tampa Bay to move up to fifth in the draft and an opportunity to get the receiver they wanted.
Blackmon is the 13th underclassman the Jaguars have selected in team history and the second straight year.
Many experts like his skills after the catch and feel that is what separates him from most prospects in this year’s receiver class. Blackmon has the strength, hands and balance to become a reliable possession receiver.
The 6-1, 207 pounder ran the 40 in 4.48. A two-time Biletnikoff winner is not the the biggest or fastest wide receiver in the draft, but physically tough, hard to contain and works hard to separate.
Blackmon caught 121 passes for 1,522 yards and 18 touchdowns and became the second two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award, joining Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree, a Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, a unanimous All-American, and even finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy race.
The Jaguars open the regular season on Sept. 9 at Minnesota.