Justin Blackmon: Is Jaguars WR a Bust or a Victim?

Jeremy Sickel@https://twitter.com/JeremySickelContributor IIINovember 9, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 21: Wide receiver Cecil Shorts #84 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates with Justin Blackmon #14 after scoring a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum on October 21, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon is having a hard time adjusting to the NFL.

While he may not be not be in the ideal situation to excel, the question has to be asked whether the wideout is already a bust or just a victim of circumstance?

Wide receivers typically have a bigger learning curve than most rookies in this league. While their talent can translate smoothly, the speed of the game is night and day in comparison to the college ranks. Blackmon's 6'1", 210-pound frame won't help him overpower any defenders either.

For a receiver who was never considered fast—or possessing even average speed, Blackmon could see his development take longer than expected. Being the seventh overall pick, a slow development could quickly become a problem for him.

Blackmon excelled in a system offense while at Oklahoma State. The NFL is much different in terms of how things are run offensively.

So far in 2012, Blackmon has tallied 26 catches for 250 yards and only one touchdown. However, he has been the target of 59 passes.

That Blackmon has not made the most of his opportunities is also a product of inconsistent play from quarterback Blaine Gabbert. But the onus ultimately falls on the young wide receiver to prove his worth in this league.

While it may be a bit early to label Blackmon a bust right now, he will certainly have to work hard to live up to the lofty expectations.

If he doesn't, he will start to lose favor in Jacksonville.


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