Choice of Justin Blackmon in the First Continues to Cause Problems for Jaguars

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJuly 31, 2012

June 12, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) is pursued by cornerback Kevin Rutland (22) after a reception during minicamp at Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

If Jaguars fans thought Blaine Gabbert was the worst pick general manager Gene Smith could make, they should survey the damage the fifth pick overall, Justin Blackmon, is already causing before he has even shown up to his first training camp. Consider these developments:

1. Trading up from the seventh pick to the fifth pick cost the Jaguars their fourth-rounder, which then forced Smith's hand in the third. He wanted punter Bryan Anger bad enough to take him in the early third round, which is like going in the first round in punter terms.

2. ESPN Florida beat writer Charlie Bernstein told us Blackmon was not creating great separation in OTAs. While the Jaguars have some quality cornerbacks, this is not what you expect to hear about a player selected in the top five overall.

3. Blackmon dragged the organization's name through the mud with an aggravated DUI arrested, including a literally staggering blood alcohol level of .24. Bernstein told us the word "alcoholic" was being thrown around in connection to Blackmon's name.

4. Blackmon's transgressions have forced the Jaguars to seek extra assurances against future foul-ups in his contract, which has made him the very last 2012 NFL Draftee to hold out. 

5. The absence of Blackmon is hurting the development of Blaine Gabbert. Things got so bad that Gabbert only completed one pass during a run of 12 pass plays in practice earlier this week, according to the Associated Press. Gabbert's confidence is crucial, and a disastrous first week of practice could dig a mental hole that is tough to get out of for the second-year quarterback.

6. Laurent Robinson has gotten off to a slow start in training camp, causing head coach Mike Mularkey to speculate that he is pressing. The absence of Blackmon could be causing Robinson to put too much on his shoulders.

There is little doubt that Smith would happily take a do-over if he got a chance to make the Jaguars' first-round pick again. The way things are going right now, he might not get a chance to do it next year.