When the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up for the most hyped wide receiver in this year’s draft class, it was assumed that Justin Blackmon would be the team’s primary target. However, if the team’s OTAs are any indication, the Jaguars could have other plans in store for Blackmon.
During the OTAs, the Jags have been working Blackmon as the team’s Z receiver and in the slot. When he was drafted, people claimed that he would be the team’s X receiver. As a Z receiver, Blackmon would be utilized much better. It is no secret — well, some still refuse to believe it — that Blackmon is not a vertical threat.
Lining up as the Z receiver, which was Roddy White’s old position in Mike Mularkey’s offense, Blackmon would be called upon to run more possession routes and keep the chains moving. That would mask his lack of ability to stretch the ball deep. It would be a smart move for Jacksonville to make Blackmon that receiver.
Blackmon does have some after the catch ability, so Jacksonville needs to use that aspect of his game.
As for my thoughts on Blackmon, they really haven’t changed. I’ve often thought he was the most overhyped player in the draft and that he will never be a number one wideout in this league. Blackmon just isn’t that big, isn’t that fast and he catches the ball with his body. Those are three things you don’t want being attached to your “number one receiver’s” name.
Playing at Z receiver will set Blackmon up with the best opportunity to succeed, so it’s up to him to prove me wrong.