Justin Blackmon’s fast feet may have helped solidify his position as a top NFL draft prospect. It was his usually sure hands that let him down at Oklahoma State’s pro day.
Blackmon ran the 40-yard dash in a shade under 4.5 seconds in front of dozens of NFL scouts and three head coaches Friday, eliminating one of the question marks remaining after he skipped the event at the combine.
”I felt pretty good when I ran it. You can’t really predict what times you’re running but I felt good starting off and getting everything going,” Blackmon said.
The low point of two-time All-American receiver’s workout came when two of the 15 passes thrown to him went off his hands and incomplete. Blackmon did catch two 50-yard passes from fellow pro prospect Brandon Weeden, who completed 42 of 52 passes with several of the incompletions glancing off his receivers’ hands.
”Brandon put the ball on the spots,” said Blackmon, a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner and potential top five pick. ”We had a couple drops but overall it went well.”
All 32 NFL teams had a representative at the showcase. Denver executive John Elway and coach John Fox were there, as were Chicago coach Lovie Smith and Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier.
”All you’ve got to do is put the tape on and (Blackmon) shows up. He’s just a terrific player, a terrific young player. You can see by the number of coaches and scouts that were here today to see he and Brandon and some of the other guys that worked out, there are a lot of people that are very interested in him,” Frazier said, adding that Blackmon’s performance only reinforced what he’d seen on videotape.
Blackmon was clocked at 4.46 seconds in the 40, according to Oklahoma State. That won’t make him the fastest receiver in the draft but also isn’t slow enough to raise too many concerns.
”I thought Brandon did a great job. I thought he threw the ball extremely well both on the move and outside the numbers, which are the two things I wanted to see,” said draft analyst Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. "I thought Justin ran the 40 well. You don’t like to see two drops in a workout like that but in the big scheme of things, it’s not going to matter.”
Weeden, who broke numerous school records while leading the Cowboys to their first Big 12 championship, was also thrilled with his 40 time of 4.87 seconds.
”I don’t think people guys expected me to run the way I did. I was one and done. I felt like Deion Sanders. Just get in my car and go home,” Weeden said. ”Of course, my time was a lot slower.”
Each of Weeden’s first 36 passes hit his receiver’s hands, although seven fell incomplete. He threw too short for Josh Cooper on one route and undershot Blackmon on a double move down the sideline.
”I want to be perfect on my end. My goal was to come out and go 50 for 50,” Weeden said. ”I think that was the initial goal. But these guys are running good routes. Drops happen. Bad throws happen. But I think overall it went pretty well.”
On Thursday, he met with Elway and Fox to go over tape of Oklahoma State’s Fiesta Bowl win over potential No. 1 pick Andrew Luck and Stanford and then eat dinner.
”I think it’s one of the funnest things about this entire process,” Weeden said. ”To go to dinner with a guy like John Elway and that entire staff, he’s a Hall of Famer, one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. To just sit there and mingle and have a good time, it’s something I’ll always remember about this process.”