Washington Redskins: The Case to Draft WR Justin Blackmon with the 6th Pick

Rob BrownCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2012

STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 8:  Wide receiver Justin Blackmon #81 of Oklahoma State celebrates with fans after the game against Kansas University on October 8, 2011 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma State defeated Kansas 70-28.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

The landscape of the National Football League has changed greatly in the past decade. With the emphasis on pass interference as well as the new rules to protect the quarterback—this league now rewards teams who can throw the ball effectively more than those who can run the ball.

Unfortunately for the Washington Redskins, their strength is running the ball and weakness is passing.

In the Dan Snyder era, the Skins have made moves that have gotten fans excited during the offseason only to lose during the regular season year after year. If you could win championships in March and April, than this team would have a full-shelf of Lombardi trophies. But reality is that they have signed players that either didn’t fit the system, were well-passed their prime or just flat-out weren’t worth the money.

It hurts to say it out loud, but let’s do it anyways. The Skins have signed or traded for Adam Archuleta, Jason Taylor, Albert Haynesworth and, of course, Donovan McNabb just to name a few.

That sounds like I started listing the 2006 Pro Bowl roster.

They did make a couple good veteran signings in DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher. But those two can’t anchor the entire team.

Meanwhile, other teams in the division are getting better by drafting and signing young players to develop. It’s a concept that seems to have been lost in the nation’s capital.

The Skins now have a chance to rebuild this team, starting with their sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft. If done correctly, they can have an immediate turnaround and shake up the NFC East.

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 19:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Baylor Bears looks to pass during a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Waco, Texas. The Baylor Bears defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 45-38.  (Photo by Sarah
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Fans and analyst everywhere feel that drafting Robert Griffin III is the key to the Redskins’ signal caller woes. It’s hard to state a case against it—RGIII is one hell of an athlete and quarterback. But is it possible that there is a better solution than drafting the Heisman trophy winner?

Give me a second as I duck the flying objects my readers are throwing at my head for suggesting NOT drafting RG3.

The Redskins have a problem at wideout and need to address it this year in the draft.

The Cincinnati Bengals made the blueprint last year of being able to find your receiver in the draft first and getting a quality quarterback second. I believe the Redskins can do the exact same thing.

To take you back to last April, the Bengals knew that Carson Palmer wasn’t going to return in black and orange stripes. But instead of trading up for Cam Newton or drafting one of many available quarterbacks like Jake Locker, Christian Ponder or Blane Gabbert, they picked receiver A.J. Green in the first round and then quarterback Andy Dalton in the second.

Dalton wasn’t ranked anywhere as high as the other quarterbacks, but was the only one that landed on a playoff team.

So it’s obviously possible to strike gold in the draft and grab a combination to win in this league.

Justin Blackmon is the best receiver in this draft. His ability to adjust to the ball is very advanced for his age. Not to mention his height, wingspan and jumping ability allows him to catch passes that are almost 11 feet from the ground.

Even Rex Grossman could throw this guy passes.

In the scenario where RGIII isn’t available at the sixth pick, or the Redskins feel confident that they can trade back into the first round to draft quarterback Ryan Tannehill—this is arguably a better situation than if you give RGIII the aging receivers that are currently on the Redskins’ roster.

With Tannehill’s broken foot, he may not be able to throw in the combine which will hurt his draft stock. The Redskins could trade back into the first round or even hope he slides to the second to grab him.

Worst case scenario is you can draft Blackmon and get a young quarterback next year. I believe this is still a better tandem than RGIII-to-Santana Moss.

At the end of the day, it is obvious that the Redskins need to get younger at both positions and the draft is the best way to do it.

There’s a lot of fans who  want to sign free agent wide receivers who’ve been successful in other systems. To me, that sounds like the same thing the Skins have tried in the past (Brandon Lloyd, Antwan Randel El) which didn’t work.

Nobody wants to say the Skins are in a rebuilding year, but they are. Get a young quarterback, a young target and start building the foundation for years to come.