Over the past couple of days, we have all heard about Justin Blackmon and his latest arrest for driving under the influence. According to many reports, Blackmon blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. For the Jaguars, the team that drafted him in the first round this past April, this news is a bit unsettling and they are just hoping that this type of behavior does not become a habit for their new star receiver.
The Arizona Cardinals also selected a receiver with past alcohol related issues in the draft. Michael Floyd had three separate incidences dating back to 2009 before having a turnaround season with the Fighting Irish last year. Because of the way he played and his apparent growth in maturity, he was able to get selected in the first round.
Knowing the past (and current) issues with both players, which one would you like most to have on your team?
Now, in order for this to be fair, we have to be as objective as possible. This is a Cardinals fan site and many of us will lean towards choosing Floyd solely for that reason, but we must select who we think will actually be the better player.
Blackmon was the first receiver off the board after the Jaguars traded up to grab him. Many think that the former OSU Cowboy will be able to take the skills he developed in college and bring them over to the NFL, but if there is one thing that stands in his way, it's his most recent run-in with the law. Will his production outweigh his off-field issues?
Then there is Floyd. Yes, he had his issues, but he seems to be well pat them now. Also, there are many experts who believe he should have been the first receiver draft anyways. Greg Cosell from NFL Films studied hours of tape on each of these players and came away thinking of Floyd as the better prospect. Did the Cards nab a winner? Will Floyd be the better player years down the road?
Personally, I think Floyd was not only the safer pick, but the better pick as well. College production, as Cosell mentions in his analysis, can only be accounted for to an extent. Physical ability and awareness are much more important factors to look for when evaluating a player. Floyd just so happens to be bigger and faster than Blackmon, so his ceiling would seem to be higher.
Now you decide. If you were the GM of an NFL team, which wide receiver would you have chosen (with hindsight being 20-20)? Floyd or Blackmon? Choose your side.