Justin Blackmon saved his best for last. The Fiesta Bowl performance by Justin Blackmon as his Oklahoma State Cowboys beat the Stanford Cardinal on national television 41-38 in overtime was a beautiful one. For a player largely described as the best wide receiver in college football over the last two seasons, Blackmon just gave a curtain call to wow them all.
Last night, Blackmon had 8 receptions for 186 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. As last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner for the best receiver in football, a win this year is almost guaranteed and it’s now clear that he will certainly be chosen as the winner this year.
“Good gracious, Justin Blackmon,” writes Ubben. “I mentioned it in the postgame video, but this was probably the best game of his career in the last game of his career. The Cowboys needed every single yard he racked up, including a crazy catch in the fourth quarter to extend the game that, with all the late drama that followed, ended up getting overshadowed. On fourth-and-4 with a little more than three minutes left, he caught a short slant and took it 21 yards. Big-time play in a big-time spot. Three touchdown catches in a BCS bowl? He hadn’t had three TDs all season, and hadn’t done so since catching three against Tulsa in 2010. That was his second game in the season’s first three games with three touchdowns.”
So where does Blackmon go in the draft? Could he go as high as No. 2 overall? While the St. Louis Rams need playmakers all over, including along the offensive line, can they pass on Blackmon’s incredible ability to bring the best out of their investment in Sam Bradford? Or what about the Vikings at No. 3 who need to surround Christian Ponder with as much weaponry as they can, especially given Adrian Peterson’s injury at season’s end? Even the Browns at No. 4 have no top shelf playmaker at receiver.
Blackmon is certain to hear his name called among the first picks in the draft and every team would love the chance to use him. Watching the Bengals resurgence with A.J. Green as their first pick shows that grabbing an impact receiver is not just a luxury pick, but it can actually turn things around.