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The St. Louis Rams emerged as winners in this year’s draft when they received three first-round draft picks from the Washington Redskins in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick. There is enough talent projected to go in the top 10 that the Rams still have their pick from a number of great players at sixth overall.
The Rams desperately need a stud defensive tackle to store up a unit depleted with lack of key players at the position in 2011. Fred Robbins and Justin Bannan have been released since the end of the season, and Gary Gibson needs some help at the other tackle spot.
But the team would be foolish to pass up a great wide receiver like Justin Blackmon. Sam Bradford spent 2011 throwing to Danario Alexander, Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon Gibson and Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd has signed with the New England Patriots, and the other three aren’t receivers the Rams can build their offense around. Greg Salas and Austin Pettis may be good receivers one day, but if the Rams draft Blackmon, they have a top receiver right now.
Blackmon was a sensational wide receiver at Oklahoma State University, twice winning the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s top wide receiver. Blackmon is a physical receiver who lacks the elite speed to burn cornerbacks long, but he is a talented enough all-around playmaker and draws comparisons to Anquan Boldin for his style of play.
Blackmon averaged 1,652 yards and 19 touchdowns his final two seasons in college, and he has nearly everything you would want in a franchise receiver—strength, hands, ball skills, body control and aggressiveness—except for elite speed.
Bradford threw just six touchdown passes in 10 games, completing 53.5 percent of his passes and posting a passer rating of only 70.5. Blackmon will be a great addition to the offense, although the team could also stand to get some improvement from the offensive tackle positions.