Justin Blackmon: Why Former Oklahoma State Star Is the Next Calvin Johnson

Zac Sweeney@@sweeney_zacContributor IIIApril 24, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates by kissing his girlfriend and cheerleader Mariel Dunlap after Oklahoma State Cowboys won 41-38 in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

As much as I hate to admit it, former Oklahoma State star Justin Blackmon is going be a dominant force in the NFL.

That being said, I believe former Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd will do better, but that's not who this article is about. 

Since Blackmon's coming of age en route to this year's draft, many have been comparing him to current NFL mega-star Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions. Being compared to Megatron is a very tall order to fill, setting Blackmon up for potential heartbreak if he doesn't live up to the hype his first year or so in the league. 

But the question is: Is Blackmon the second coming of Megatron? If you look at college numbers, the answer is "Yes."

Between 2004 and 2006, Johnson, while playing at Georgia Tech, pulled in 178 catches for 2,927 yards and 28 touchdowns. During this span, Johnson averaged 16.4 yards a reception.

The most startling conclusion drawn from Megatron's collegiate days is how his yards and touchdowns are spread out.

Johnson didn't seem to become "Megatron" until 2006, his final year with the Yellow Jackets. That year, he accumulated 1,202 yards over 76 catches for 15 touchdowns. The other two years only saw total yardage around the high-800 mark, and neither of the two seasons saw Johnson produce more than 10 touchdowns.

Blackmon is a different story, though.

Blackmon didn't make headlines his freshman year, but maybe had something to do with former teammate and current Dallas Cowboy Dez Bryant. Who knows? The important thing to realize is that as soon as Blackmon became the No. 1 guy for QB Brandon Weedon to throw to, he put up amazing results.

His sophomore campaign produced 1,782 yards over 111 catches for 20 touchdowns. His junior year was just as successful, producing 1,522 yards over 121 receptions for 18 touchdowns. Not to mention that he put up 186 yards and three touchdowns against Andrew Luck's Stanford Cardinal in the Fiesta Bowl his junior year. 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07:   Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints during their 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012 in
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Blackmon is a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner and is being billed as the best player to come out of OSU since Barry Sanders, another huge order to live up to.

But living up to huge orders is what Blackmon has done his entire career. Going into his first season as "the guy" at OSU, Blackmon was filling in for the troubled yet very successful Dez Bryant. So what does Blackmon do? Engrave his name on just about every record and leaderboard that the NCAA and OSU have for offensive players. 

Now he's being billed as a modern-day Barry Sanders, just as a wide receiver. He won the Offensive Player of the Year award. So did Sanders. Blackmon is the only receiver in Big 12 history to receive the award. 

So now people are calling him the next Calvin Johnson. That's okay. Blackmon won't go as the No. 2 overall pick like Johnson, but he will be in the top 10 players taken on draft day.

After that, it's just a matter of time before he takes his place as an elite receiver in the NFL and won't have eight-year, $132 million contract to show for it, either.