Justin Blackmon’s DUI Arrest Means Receiver Already Faces Uphill Battle in First NFL Season


Justin Blackmon's DUI Arrest Means Receiver Already Faces Uphill Battle in First NFL SeasonJustin Blackmon has all the makings of an elite NFL receiver — the size, the talent and now the off-the-field issues.

Blackmon, selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fifth overall pick in this year's draft, has often been compared to Terrell Owens because of his reputation as a big, physical receiver. Now that Blackmon has a DUI under his belt, the comparisons go beyond the playing field.

Owens continues to make headlines for his dispute with the Indoor Football League's Allen Wranglers, who cut the veteran receiver last week after he missed a charity event at a children's hospital. Blackmon, meanwhile, was arrested early Sunday morning in Stillwater, Okla., on an aggravated DUI charge after his blood alcohol level was found to be three times the legal limit. Each is a completely separate issue — and very different in nature — but Blackmon's arrest does nothing to dispel the notion that wide receivers are often times the flashiest, most polarizing players on the field — a notion Owens helped create.

There was nothing really to suggest that behavior would be an issue with Blackmon upon entering the NFL. And while it could be an isolated incident that the young receiver is able to turn into a positive, a run-in with the law is hardly how he and the Jaguars wanted to start things out.

There's already a great deal of hype surrounding the Oklahoma State standout. Blackmon is seen as a truly unique talent, even if it's often debated how early a wide receiver should be selected in the draft. For those who may have been skeptical of Jacksonville's aggressiveness when it came to the two-time All-American (they traded up two spots to take him), especially given the team's unstable quarterback situation, the recent arrest will only heighten the paranoia.

Blackmon will already be under a microscope — at least as much as you can be while playing in Jacksonville — but he'll be even more so now that he's made his mark in a police log before an NFL scoresheet. Perhaps 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns will make everyone forget this recent mishap, but failing to produce will have us looking back at the incident more judiciously.

Because of Blackmon's ability, which he demonstrated throughout his time at Oklahoma State, it's hard to find reasons why he won't succeed at the NFL level. One could point to his lack of breakaway speed or his sometimes predictable route-running, but off-the-field trouble is the scariest possibility for a team when it comes to a potential star, simply because there are times when it can't be fixed.

Blackmon's draft position means he'll already be discussed in the same breath as A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson. The hope of the Jags is that he'll produce like those players. If not, we'll be tossing him in with the likes of Michael Crabtree instead.

The recent DUI arrest could just be a minor hiccup in what turns out to be a tremendous career for Blackmon. Or it could be a sign of things to come, which won't bode well for Jacksonville.

Blackmon already faced an uphill battle, but the hill just got a little bit steeper.

Photo via Flickr/ShuttrKing|KT

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