Early Sunday morning, a Stillwater police officer noticed a vehicle traveling 60 mph in a 35 mph zone and consistently crossing the center line. Turns out that white Chevy Tahoe was driven by none other than Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI. When the news came out, it was obviously alarming. An aggravated DUI charge meant his blood alcohol was .15 or higher. We later found out it was .24 – three times the legal limit in Oklahoma of .08.
As if that news wasn’t bad enough, a little Hardy Boys-like investigative work will show this is Blackmon’s second DUI arrest in just twenty months. His first was a misdemeanor DUI charge when he was caught speeding on a Texas highway in 2010. After that incidient, he was quoted as saying, “I look forward to redeeming myself and proving to everybody that this isn’t who I am. I’m not this guy. I’m humbled by this experience and I will grow from it.”
There will no doubt be droves of people who are willing to give up on Blackmon and tank his value accordingly. In some respects, it’s easy to justify that. After all, Blackmon was already on thin ice with dynasty league owners based on him ending up in the wide receiver purgatory known as Jacksonville – this will just be yet another reason for these people to avoid him in rookie drafts.
It’s also easy to just look back on past history and give up pretty quickly based on the luck the Jaguars have had with virtually every receiver on their team, outside of Jimmy Smith. Remember, this is the franchise that has spent high draft picks on such non-Hall of Famers as Reggie Williams, Matt Jones and R. Jay Soward.
So, now what?
This news is a red flag, there’s no doubt about it. Blackmon could even be facing a suspension from the league. However, he has never shown a great pattern for misbehaving and this could simply be an example of a young man who either has a drinking problem or uses terrible judgment. Either way, it’s a concern – how big of a concern is the real question and it’s going to be very difficult to accurately answer that any time soon. He’s quickly becoming a future candidate for the “rule of 1.5.” If you don’t know what that is, I won’t clog up this article with the details – just refer to The Game Plan or comb through our archives.
When you look at rookie drafts, Blackmon was right in the mix in the top five with Trent Richardson, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Doug Martin. It’s easy to look at this latest transgression and just move him down the sheet. There’s one big problem with that, though – who do you move up? We’ve said from day one that this year is a great one to have either high first round picks or lots of picks in the second round. From right around the middle of the first round, this draft is a total crap shoot.
Let’s take a look at the players you could bring up your cheat sheets.
Michael Floyd is an easy candidate to move up past Blackmon, but let’s not forget he has a DUI of his own. David Wilson could merit a look, but is it worth taking a backup running back on a team that typically employs a committee attack at #5 in the draft? Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill both have some real skills, but neither has the elite qualities to really merit a pick that high, either. Isaiah Pead and Ronnie Hillman each have some potential, but neither are guaranteed anything. The NFL and dynasty leagues are seeing an uptick in tight end values, but Coby Fleener still can’t move that high. Again, the problem with moving Blackmon down your draft board really isn’t a question of whether or not he should be moved, but more of who you could possibly move ahead of him. Simply put, there just isn’t really a solid candidate at the moment.
For me, I’m keeping Blackmon at #5 on my board. However, the first four to me are crystal clear at this point. Before, you could make a case for a team taking Blackmon ahead of one of those players based on their individual team needs, but that’s all history now and the gap between pick #4 and #5 in a rookie draft just became very, very significant.
If you already have Blackmon or plan on drafting him, you have to just hope for the best and realize he’s still a very young man at only 22 years of age. All of us who have been that old can likely remember some mistakes we’ve all made. Sure, they likely don’t include driving in Stillwater after seemingly drinking a keg of beer on our own, but they were mistakes, nonetheless.
On an important note, if you already own Blackmon, you can’t attempt to trade him. Right now, he’s damaged goods and you won’t get anything close to decent value for him in a dynasty league. Besides, any team you approach will immediately smell blood in the water and know you’re concerned about him. That may not seem like a big deal, but coaches tend to remember how you feel about players – good luck getting a decent offer from them any time soon.
This is bad news for Blackmon, the Jaguars and dynasty league owners all across the land. Let’s just hope he can really learn from his mistake this time and not just give us false promises of not being “that guy,” because right now, he squarely is just that.
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