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Rookie Mistake

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.”

Uh oh.

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.

You can now follow me on Twitter @dlf_kenk. I’m only 8 million followers behind Snoop Dogg!

Ken Kelly
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Chris Crane
10 years ago

4 picks in this draft = Luck, RG3, Trent, and Doug… the rest let them geaux fish

Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Hey look Ken like you said he’s young. I’ve made many mistakes myself at that age. I bet there’s lots of NFL players who were sucessful after a few mistakes. Look at Brandon Marshall Leon Lett, Ray Lewis, any of the cowboys in the 90’s lol. Football players party. Even the best of the best I bet have some great party stories. Nowadays with all the media reporting an aggrivated dwi is big news. They barely talked about things like that in the 50s 60s 70s ect. He’s gonna learn that this is going to be one of his breaks in life. The guy is talented and young. I bet he’ll have a Designated Driver from now on. I think he’s gonna be just fine. I mean it’s not like he stabbed somebody outside a nightclub during the superbowl or got caught with 20lbs if weed in his trunk… Yet

Scott
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Thats true, and I agree with you, but I think what Ken (and other’s) are saying is theres a pattern developing with him. Maybe he just doesnt have his head on straight.

And the most common thing that turns a talented guys into busts is that immaturity or some injury thats too much to overcome. Lets face it there will be busts, and these guys wouldnt be drafted this high if not for great talent. But talent is never the reasoning, its usually what goes along with that talent…

Kwil
10 years ago

Is he currently under contract? If so, then doesn’t he fall under the personal conduct rule? I know for us dynasty leaguers the short term effect of actions doesn’t matter. But if he is a repeat offender, how can you count on him in the future? Hopefully he straightens out. If he falls in the first, I will be looking to trade up for sure.

Brian
Reply to  Kwil
10 years ago

Doesn’t matter if he is under contract or not. Also the league can’t punish him for his past DUI but they can take that into account when deciding discipline on this one. They may get him for a suspense to get the point across and then hopefully this is behind him. As far as fantasy goes I wasn’t a fan of his before this and wouldn’t have drafted him so it really doesn’t change anything for me. I drafted David Wilson over him at 5 and took Kendall Wright over Floyd at 7 in my draft. It is PPR so I will take Wright over any of the other top WR’s.

Matt Caldwell
10 years ago

The league may put him on some mandated blood alcohol tests now if they deem it a problem. Mr.Blackmon may not be drinking at all from now on….

Chris Mertz
10 years ago

He is not under contract I don’t believe.

Aaron
10 years ago

Glad I have picks of #12, #17, #21, and #27 in our draft this year…I traded my 1.08 earlier in the season but I liked the value in the middle rounds so I loaded up on picks in that spot to maximize my chances of landing quality players. I don’t even have a desire to try and move up before 1.10 which is about where Fleener will go…

Scott
Reply to  Aaron
10 years ago

I like your strategy on that.. and agree that this year more than others seems to be good to load up of second round flier guys. Its hard to know which ones will hit, but I’m sure someone will

Ken W.
10 years ago

I’m currently in the 2nd round of three dynasty rookie drafts and Fleener went 1.9 in all three. I took him in one. 🙂

Scott
Reply to  Ken W.
10 years ago

Whats up Ken!

Scott
Reply to  Scott
10 years ago

You STOLE him in one, i think you mean. 🙂

Scott
10 years ago

I’m gonna have to vote BUST on this one.

In my experience, whenever there appears to be more bad things to overcome, than good things to merit success, the former always wins out. I’d completely take Floyd over him, even before this incident, given that I think Floyd is in a much better situation and not a huge/if any talent drop-off from Blackmon. OR Fleener for reasons similar to Floyd’s.

Fleener was the best at his position in the draft. It could be argued that Floyd was considered that as well. I think its easy to argue voting these two guys ahead of Blackmon in rookie drafts. Its just too bad that most drafts already occurred.

Trey
10 years ago

This is why in my dynasty league we wait until just before the NFL preseason to do our rookie draft. It’s nice to be able to wait until after a few things like this surface before having to draft.

Josh Gans
Reply to  Trey
10 years ago

Yep..never understand why people hold rookie drafts in before August…too many injuries, depth chart changes, cuts, whatever.

Patience is a virtue 🙂

Mike
Reply to  Trey
10 years ago

“This is why in my dynasty league we wait until just before the NFL preseason to do our rookie draft. It’s nice to be able to wait until after a few things like this surface before having to draft.”

You really should just wait until the NFL Playoffs start and the fantasy season is over so that you can see the final player rankings before drafting. Then you guys can really be amatuers.

Ryan Brown
Reply to  Mike
10 years ago

Way to be a hater and misspell amatEUrs Mike. Sorry everyone can’t be a dynasty guru/ spelling ace such as yourself. No room for negative comments around here.

Reply to  Mike
10 years ago

we do ours right after the nfl draft…..because it separates the men from the boys

CokeAndBacardi
Reply to  bigD
10 years ago

I’m with Joe Kool on this one – let the kids line up in NFL pads/unis for a few weeks before doing the rookie draft. Not a lot of people stray from rookie rankings they find on websites so I hardly see a men from the boys separation. Youtube highlights are viewed by both men and boys and should not be considered “scouting”.

dave hoover
Reply to  bigD
10 years ago

ok, junior

Wertz
Reply to  Mike
10 years ago

What are you talking about? He has a valid point. Drafting before August is plain stupid, and I know it’s different but still stupid. If your such a pro why are you needing to read articles from a site that gives advice?

Reply to  Wertz
10 years ago

we do it after the rookie draft just for this same reason we dont sit here and read all these advice articles. we do our homework and use our own knowledge to gage the pick. when stuff like this happens then i check to see the results. the men from the boys statement is that you draft when the nfl drafts and you have to think it thru and use your sense of fantasy football. it adds excitement thru out the year. ever notice that the experts are doing drafts now too???? fun gentlemen……for fun

StevieMo
Reply to  Trey
10 years ago

I agree, Trey. We have one preseason draft on Labor Day, and at that point the rookies have had time to settle and available veterans can also be acquired.

Chris
10 years ago

I am soooo glad that this happened now and not last week when the guy at 1.04 took Blackmon and let RG3 slip to me at 1.05.

In his comments he said he knew he would regret the pick…but doubt he thought it would be so fast!!!

Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Yea I have the 1.5 n 1.7. I’m going to grab Wilson at 1.5 to handcuff Bradshaw and either Floyd or Wright at 1.7. I want to believe in Blackmon but my guts tellin me otherwise. Plus when Matt Waldman says Wilson reminds him of Walter Payton( not saying he’s gonna be anywhere near that) I think I have to grab Wilson.

StevieMo
10 years ago

At this point I wouldn’t touch the guy. This kind of alcoholism never ends well.

JFever
10 years ago

I honestly think it is being way over hyped. He is 22 and much more talented than any other WR in his class. He will learn and he will have a better career than Floyd or any other wr from this class. Man… people are so jumpy. This is Dynasty not redraft.

Admin
10 years ago

I am inclined to agree with the above post, I don’t think this significantly changes my ranking for him. Looking at how he might perform over the next 10 years, this may be just a blip on the radar. Yes, it’s a consideration, but I believe when evaluating players, especially young men with a too much time and money, you can’t overreact to any news, good or bad. He’ll hopefully learn from this, he’s not the first young athlete to make a few mistakes and still have a productive career. And his situation in JAX wont be the same forever. In short order either Gabbert improves or he is replaced.

Keep a steady eye, hold the course, and don’t panic. He’s still one of the top WR’s in the draft, if not the top WR.

JFever
10 years ago

Well put it this way. I’m 36 and a high school Bio / Anatomy teacher. When I was 22 I did a lot of fairly stupid things. I got into a little trouble, learned a few lessons, and now I’ve been teaching for about 10 years and Like to think I’m a good Dad (three kids, and husband). At times we are SO quick to jump on or off bandwagons I can’t help but chuckle. Are we forgeting that he was clearly THE most dominant Wr in the NCAA over the past TWO years? C’mon people… He is a kid that screwed up. Lets not crucify him over it.

Besides… Floyd has some character concerns of his own and in my opinion isn’t as talented and doesn’t play as fast.

Why Not Win Now?
Reply to  JFever
10 years ago

If you have a long term perspective, he’s still the guy to pick over the other WR’s. The reason is his future trade value.

People have been waiting 2 years for him to come out, lots of hype, and the highest drafted in his class. These will all protect his future trade value! If Floyd, Wright, or Hill all disappoint, like the naysayers assume Blackmon will (with the exact same stats) they will be worthless. But, there will always be someone looking to catch Blackmon on the cheap for the “ole redemption play” (aka Mcfadden, Spiller, ect.) in a few years.

tebow
10 years ago

i know u guys have rg3 and luck in your top 5 but i would like a rookie list without the qbs in the top 10 because in my league nobody is going to take either of those guys till 11 or 12 because rbs wr/tes carry much more value since you need to play more than one and have guys on the bench because of injury. you just need one qb but you can never have enough of the other positions its supply and demand

Admin
Reply to  tebow
10 years ago

I hear you tebow, which is why on our rankings we say…

“Please remember these or any other rankings are merely a starting point for evaluating player value. Always use your common sense and factor in the specific needs of your team and nature of your league. No one set of rankings can do it all for you. They are simply a tool in the toolbox, and it is up to each coach to use the tools well.”

Just use these and other rankings as a starting point, and apply them to your specific situation and league as best you can from there.

Sensei John Kreese
10 years ago

Suppose AJ Green, Justin Blackmon, Alshon Jeffrey and Julio Jones would have come out in 2011. Before the rookie draft, it might have been considered one of the greatest WR classes of all time in fantasy. Green and Jones obviously lived up to the hype. Now, Blackmon is falling to 1.6 and Jeffrey is in the second round.

I don’t buy it, Blackmon has never done anything on the field to show me that he is a mediocre talent. If anything, this puts a chip on his shoulder. No way in hell i take a VT running back over him.

With regard to Jeffrey, i dont know. I’ve never been so ambivalent towards a player in all my years in fantasy. I may take him at the end of the first round, just to eliminate any possibility of future regret.

F B Nut
10 years ago

I would still take him at the 5 pick in rookie draft. The dudes got a awsome set of hands. I think we get a little carried away with the small stuff.

Pancakes
10 years ago

i’m less concerned with a DUI and more concerned with how physically he isnt’ a top 10 talent of the AJG or Julio mold and furthermore how he is playing for the worst franchise in the NFL for the last few years

Johnny Vegas
10 years ago

Not to bright getting 2nd DUI before he signs!
Pretty easy in my view to move Floyd and Wilson above him..
If you can dump him on a bottom tier team for a future 1st I’d jump on it..

StevieMo
Reply to  Johnny Vegas
10 years ago

You’ve got to take him down at least a few notches for sheer stupidity and atrocious judgment. If he can’t control himself before the contract is signed — and word is he’s going to take a significant contract hit because of it — he’s simply out of control and worse things lie ahead. This is clearly the Laurence Phillips blueprint for NFL failure and I know that because I drafted Phillips with the 1.01 pick in our dynasty league in 1996.

sean mcguigan
10 years ago

Blackmon is the best WR in the class just based on talent but this is a HUGE red flag…..he is not even under contract yet…..how could he allow this to happen….it is like a player getting drafted and putting on 20 lbs(maybe worse) I get he is a young kid but this is concerning…couple that with a QB who I personally think Blows and will be a backup/out of league in a couple of years and you have to wonder what kind of numbers this guys can put up in short medium term…..I would go with Floyd(carry’s own risks but seems to have matured some) Wright, or even Jeffery over him….but that’s just me, you can’t down play this….second one and the timing of this one is especially troublesome….gonna cost him some real money in his contract. I have 12 and 19 and glad

10 years ago

I think people are correct to be concerned, but I would remind everyone that this type of concern once caused both Warren Sapp and Randy Moss to fall in their rookie drafts. It’s buyer beware, but tremendously talented players needed to be viewed differently.

Chris R.
10 years ago

Stephen Hill doesn’t have any elite qualities to merit a pick this high? What would those qualities be your referring to? Because unless your talking about landing spot, or the offense he came from(either of which are considered qualities) I’m not sure I get what your saying.

I don’t think I’d like to take him that high but I don’t get that rationale.

The dynasty circles are getting out of hand acting like this is a 4 man draft. Things are never what they seem right now. Remember when Crabtree was THE stud WR coming out in 2009? Yet there are numerous other studs at WR that same year all coming after him.

Raise your hand if you were drafting Nicks, Wallace, Britt, Maclin or Harvin in the top 5 of that draft, or before Crabtree. Now all those guys are worth a ton and Crabs is traded around for roster scraps.

Guys like Quick, Hill, Wilson, and Kendall Wright are all being undervalued. While I do have them a tier behind the top group, I’m not going “oh woe is me” if I have a pick later in the round and land one of these guys. There is a lot of stud potential out of this group, and it’s surprising to me to hear so many talk in the dynasty community as if a draft is ever clear cut and dry. First 4 picks automatic studs, after that crap.

10 years ago

When the news broke about Blackmon’s DUI, I called up the owner of Blackmon and offered him Quick, and a 2013 2nd pick. He accepted. Does any one have any thoughts about this move?

sean mcguigan
Reply to  Chris W.
10 years ago

Chris W time will tell but I would rather have quick and the pick….quick has a chance to be something special….Blackmon is without a real qb not a crazy trade by any account but I would be concerned with Blackmon with landing spot and now these drinking issue…….Jacksonville could bring out the worst as that time will have yet another horrible season…….time will tell could be a steel for you but I wouldn’t bank on it

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