While there are a number of names that I have seen bandied about as potential first-round busts from the 2012 NFL draft, there is only one player that has really shown the ability to quickly spiral out of control. That player, who is generating plenty of talk about being a bust, is wide receiver Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
As most of you have probably heard or at least read by now, Blackmon recently committed not his first, but his second DUI in a two-year time period.
According to the police, Blackmon originally blew 0.24 on his first Breathalyzer test and then followed that up with a 0.26 on his second test. Good thing he wasn't asked to blow a third time. Another good thing was that he didn't kill anybody, since he seriously wasn't in any condition to drive.
According to the Florida Times-Union, Blackmon held a press conference on Wednesday where he apologized to everybody for his actions and promised to give up drinking for now. Might have been the wrong choice of words.
As for the message that Blackmon is sending out to Jaguars ownership, his teammates and to the Jaguars fanbase, it's clear that he is having trouble making good decisions on what to do with his time away from the field. It isn't hard to imagine that there are probably some key members of the Jaguars' front office that are now second-guessing why they traded up to the No. 5 overall spot for him.
It is not out of the question that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could step in and discipline Blackmon. He could be looking at anything from being placed in the NFL substance abuse program with random testing to something more severe like a suspension, considering it is his second DUI.
The other aspect to discuss is the football side of the Blackmon draft choice. He played in a spread offense at Oklahoma State, going up against some rather suspect Big 12 defenses. Blackmon will learn how much tougher it is to get free against NFL secondaries, and he will have to prove that he can make the necessary adjustments.
Secondly, pairing Blackmon with Blaine Gabbert as his quarterback could easily wind up as a disaster. Aaron Rodgers finished the 2011 season as the No. 1-rated quarterback, averaging 9.25 yards per pass attempt. Ranked dead last out of 34 total NFL quarterbacks was Gabbert, who averaged only 5.36 yards per pass attempt.
In other words, you have a talented athlete like Blackmon trying to get free downfield waiting for passes from a quarterback that has nervous feet and has trouble feeling his way around the pocket to be able to throw the ball down the field. It was just not a very good match by the Jaguars.
It is noted that if the Jaguars are able to plug in a quarterback with a stronger arm, then Blackmon's stock would go up. But for as long as Blackmon has Gabbert as his quarterback, this looks like it was a bad idea.
Finally, we have the trust issue. The Jaguars drafted Blackmon because they believed out of all the remaining players in the draft pool, Blackmon offered them the best chance to win and was the player that they wanted to represent the team and the community. With his actions, Blackmon is breaking that trust factor and throwing it away.
You can chalk it up to being young and naive if you want to, but assuming that he is placed in the NFL substance abuse program, he will be reminded of how stupid he was every time he has to submit to a random drug test. Let's say that Blackmon encounters a rough two- or three-game patch in his rookie year. How will he react? Will he want to go on an all-night bender? It's obvious that he doesn't have the ability to know when to say he's had enough.
For another opinion on the Blackmon scenario, here is a story from Bleacher Report's Matt Miller on why he believes that Blackmon is going to be a draft bust.