Jacksonville Jaguars Trade Up with Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Justin Blackmon

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Jacksonville Jaguars Trade Up with Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Justin Blackmon
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams traded out of the second overall pick for a treasure trove of picks, but now miss out on the 2012 NFL Draft's top receiver.

With Justin Blackmon dropping past the fourth overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars leap frog over the St. Louis Rams to bring in a viable receiver for last year's first-round selection Blaine Gabbert.

Blackmon will give the Jaguars a serious threat downfield and help free up running lanes for Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew ranks among the best running backs in the league, chalking up over 1,600 rushing yards despite being the only playmaker on Jacksonville offense.

Moving up to take Blackmon changes all that.

With Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis as options in the passing game, Gabbert now has the tools needed to perform on par with contemporaries Cam Newton and Andy Dalton. Gabbert faced plenty of criticism after an unimpressive 2011 season while Dalton and Newton both led their teams to the playoffs.

Gabbert took exception at Mike Lombardi's assessment, and few people could blame him. Either way, drafting Blackmon takes away any excuses for subpar quarterback play going forward.

But Jones-Drew is the biggest winner with this selection. Without serious work on Jacksonville's roster, Jones-Drew could end his career as the next Barry Sanders; a marvel of a running back without the talent to go anywhere in the playoffs.

Drafting Blackmon won't just help Jones-Drew's career; it'll contribute to his chance to play the game in January in the latter half of his career.

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