2012 NFL Draft: Justin Blackmon and Best Draft Eligible Wide Receiver

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 3, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates with the trophy after after Oklahoma won 41-38 in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon has emerged as the cream of the crop at wide receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft. 

His Fiesta Bowl performance (eight receptions, 186 yards, three touchdowns) only augmented his value.   

Blackmon's subsequent draft declaration was as much a foregone conclusion as anything in sports.

At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, he doesn't have elite height, but it's acceptable, especially considering his hands and run after the catch ability. 

Like many young receivers, Blackmon's route running could use some development, but he chases the ball like a beast, which makes him a premier threat down the field.

He is similar to Dwayne Bowe in size, but like a faster Anquan Boldin after the catch. 

There are character concerns (he was arrested on a DUI charge in 2010), but as a football player, he has few deficiencies.

Blackmon won't last past the first five picks; St. Louis is a likely destination.

Here are the other receivers who could hear their names called in the first round:

Alshon Jeffery: 6-foot-4, 229 pounds - South Carolina

Most consider Alshon Jeffery's fight with fellow projected first round talent, Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard, an aberration. 

Jeffery has had little to no character issues before; this was just bad timing, in what could be Jeffery's last college game.

He is huge, has great hands, looks to catch the ball at it's highest point and is troublesome to bring down because of his size.

Jeffery is said to run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, but he looks to play a little slower than that. Still, his physical gifts can't be ignored. 

He is a great pick up for any team looking for a deep threat, or a supreme red-zone target.

Jeffery is a mid-first round pick who could go to the Philadelphia Eagles or Chicago Bears

Michael Floyd: 6-foot-3, 221 pounds - Notre Dame

Michael Floyd is a big, strong receiver with great hands and a penchant for making spectacular catches.  He has elite leaping ability and is also a great potential red zone target.

Floyd's growth and improvement has not been as fast as many expected, especially after his promising freshman career.  But he did snag 100 passes this year, scoring nine touchdowns.

On talent alone, Floyd could move ahead of Jeffery, but, like Blackmon, he has also had character concerns; Floyd was arrested on DUI charges as well.

Floyd will likely fall in the 21-28 range in the draft.  He could be a fit in Baltimore, or with the Denver Broncos.

Mohamed Sanu: 6-foot-2, 215 pounds - Rutgers

Recently declared, Mohamed Sanu had a fabulous season for the Scarlet Knights.  He grabbed 115 passes for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. 

Sanu isn't likely to be a first round selection, but he could be a second round selection.

He has good size and speed, and he is very effective after the catch.  Sanu was such a large part of Rutgers' pass offense, he is used to being the focal point. 

He accounted for 38 percent of the team's passing yardage.

Sanu is the exact opposite of an off-the-field problem; he has been lauded for his character and temperament at Rutgers.

If the Bears don't select a wide receiver in the first round, Sanu would be a nice pick in the second round; ditto for the Eagles.


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