Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell made a pretty emphatic statement when he selected UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft – Bortles was his guy and he wasn’t going to let him slip by them.
Caldwell also made an emphatic statement in the second round when he selected two wide receivers in USC’s Marqise Lee and Penn State’s Allen Robinson – former first round pick Justin Blackmon was not in the team’s plans at all.
After violating the league’s substance abuse policy multiple times, the much maligned wide receiver was given an indefinite suspension in 2013 and there hasn’t been much word of his return since. Alex Marvez however has heard some encouraging things about Blackmon recently.
It’s way too early to try and figure out how the Jaguars will deal with Blackmon in a disciplinary or team culture sense, but it’s interesting to look at how he might fit into what has become a promising young receiving corps.
In addition to their two 2nd round picks, the Jaguars found a gem in undrafted free agent Allen Hurns. Robinson, Lee, and Hurns comprise a high-upside corps of receivers, and the Jaguars are likely going to let Cecil Shorts walk in free agency and replace him with another veteran.
With their 3 young guns and a veteran making up the top 4 roster spots, Blackmon is going to have to fight for playing time. Blackmon appeared to be most effective in the slot, catching passes over the middle, and he would be perfect in 3-receiver sets as the inside guy.
There’s a lot to go through before we talk seriously about Blackmon’s possible contributions, but it certainly isn’t bad news to hear he’s on his way there.