Receivers in review: Blackmon, Fuller and Broyles

Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State) won the Biletnikoff in 2010 and it was somewhat of a surprise that he chose not to declare for this year’s draft. Despite enduring a one-game suspension, he recorded 1782 receiving yards and 21 total touchdowns. The thing that stands out for me when watching Blackmon is his control running routes and positioning his body to catch the ball. He’s very smooth if not explosive going into his breaks and he does a decent job at getting open.

You’re not looking at a big physical guy at 6-1 and 207lbs and he’s not going to run a great forty time. Blackmon has a tendency to body catch a little too frequently and  overall he hasn’t got great hands – as emphasised by the drop at 1:53 in the video above. Like Greg Jennings and Roddy White he has the potential to be productive receivers without having amazing athletic qualities or size, but like those two I expect he’ll be drafted in the late first or second round.

Jeff Fuller (WR, Texas A&M) has the opportunity to fight for the second receiver grade after Alshon Jeffery (who we looked at yesterday – click here). He’s a rare senior wide out with first round talent. Fuller has the size (6-4, 215lbs) to be physical against elite cornerback talent and he’s more than capable of getting downfield. The tape above flashes exactly why he’s an outside candidate to go in the top-15 next year. That is every snap thrown in Fuller’s direction against LSU, so who do you think won that battle between the receiver and Patrick Peterson? He caught seven passes for 83 yards – a better performance than most managed against Peterson last year.

The quarterback situation for the Aggies didn’t help Fuller in 2010. He did quite well under Jerrod Johnson initially, had a great start with Ryan Tannehill against Texas Tech but that production was short lived. Things seemed to click in the Bowl Game as we see above, so if the chemistry is finally there it could be a major positive for Fuller who is my #2 receiver prospect for 2012.

Ryan Broyles (WR, Oklahoma) also had an extremely productive season in the Sooners prolific passing game. In three years at Oklahoma he has 3429 yards and 35 touchdowns. He’s not a big guy (5-10, 183lbs) but he has slot potential and could provide the kind of safety net that’ll make life easy for young quarterbacks in the NFL. Like the previous two receivers featured here, I think people expected Broyles to declare. He’s had three years in the Oklahoma offense and achieved major production plus success.

I can’t place his stock much higher than rounds 2-3 going into his senior campaign and perhaps that’s why he is staying in college? He’s a by-product of the Oklahoma offense, taking so many catches on high percentage passes and trying to use open field ability to make plays. To some extent he reminds me of Golden Tate in that regard, because Tate’s Biletnikoff season was packed full of simple routes to get the ball in his hands quickly. Like the current Seahawks receiver, he’s capable of making spectacular plays (see 1:01) but really hes a difficult prospect to project because he doesn’t run many pro-routes and he isn’t catching the ball in challenging areas.


  1. Nick J

    This doesn’t look like much of a receiver class… Alshon and Fuller look like the only top 20 receivers to me. Blackmon has had awesome numbers and accolades but his size is going to turn people off, I think.

    • Rob

      I’ve seen early 2012 projections with Blackmon in the top-ten and I just don’t buy it. Good, solid receiver but guys with his size and skills don’t go that high. It wouldn’t surprise me if no wide outs went in the top-15 next year.

    • ba_edwards24

      Major major depth. I’ll agree there’s no AJ Green in this class, but Jeffery and Fuller are in the same conversation as Julio Jones. Blackmon is a pretty good prospect (late 1st) capable of making big plays. I’ll take Broyles, Sanu, and Childs all day in the 2nd. Floyd has a chance to sneak into the 2nd. DeVier Posey is a solid deep threat that was a 2nd rounder before the suspension. Juron Criner is a big physical receiver. I see 2 posibble #1s, a lot of physical #2s, a mismatch guy in Sanu, and big time deep threats in Posey and Blackmon. We may only see 1 pro bowler in this class (or none), but I could also see 10 starters. I like this class as much as last year’s class with Green, Jones, and a bunch of talented basketcases.

      • Rob

        Sanu is coming up… one of my favorite prospects for 2012. Just an all round playmaker, put him all over the field. My #3 receiver after Jeffery and Fuller.

  2. Misfit74

    Blackmon reminds me most of Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe.

  3. Misfit74

    Blackmon reminds me most of Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe.

    Broyles is too small. Pass.

  4. hjo

    man you people are crazy alshon and justin blackmon are both definitely in aj greens class fuller is not that gr8 though but childs is great mark my words this will be close to 1996 draft of wrs or

    • Rob

      There’s a lot of depth hjo, but I can’t agree that either Jeffery or Blackmon have as much potential as AJ Green.

      Green would be a top-five pick (which is saying something at WR) in any draft. Just a complete rarity, a freak of nature in that he’s so polished as a route runner yet physically excellent with it. Jeffery and Blackmon have first round level talent, but I can’t for a second grade them as high as Green. There’s only one reciever with as high a grade as Green coming out of college I’ve ever seen and he may be the best wide out in the league right now – Megatron.

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