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Colts take Julian Blackmon


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9 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Don't compare to Leonard. Not a football field close...

I’ve said twice now including the post you quoted that I wasn’t saying he would be as good as Leonard.  I simply meant in terms of a guy who a lot didn’t see being drafted so high.  

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Julian who?   I'm not feeling excited about this draft at this point. I like Pittman, but so far the Taylor and Blackmon picks will have me just hanging up my standard 'Ballard knows better

We didnt like the Willis pick last year and it turned out fine. Didnt know who the hell EJ Speed was and he made the team. Give the kid a chance.

Draft Taylor... let’s move Mack! Draft Blackmon... let’s move Hooker!   No, this is called quality depth who can develop and take over in the future.

5 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

I’ve said twice now including the post you quoted that I wasn’t saying he would be as good as Leonard.  I simply meant in terms of a guy who a lot didn’t see being drafted so high.  

A lot of folks thought Leonard would be good, just scared to pick because of the small school setting. The production and measurables were absolutely there. Blackmon is not the same. Utah had a great D (for the PAC), but he's a conversion guy (CB to S) that probably projects more as SS, Box, or Nickel. Not a bad guy so to speak, but not someone I'd take in the 3rd. Leonard was not a project. He had clear skills at a big position. The only question was how much it would translate.

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3 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

A lot of folks thought Leonard would be good, just scared to pick because of the small school setting. The production and measurables were absolutely there. Blackmon is not the same. Utah had a great D (for the PAC), but he's a conversion guy (CB to S) that probably projects more as SS, Box, or Nickel. Not a bad guy so to speak, but not someone I'd take in the 3rd. Leonard was not a project. He had clear skills at a big position. The only question was how much it would translate.

Actually this forum about had a meltdown when the Colts took Leonard and yelled about Ballard wasting a pick on him.  It wasn’t until they saw him play that they quickly changed their minds on him.  
 

For the fourth time now though I am NOT comparing them as a player.  I am comparing them as guys some felt the Colts took higher than they needed too.  

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4 minutes ago, GoColts8818 said:

Actually this forum about had a meltdown when the Colts took Leonard and yelled about Ballard wasting a pick on him.  It wasn’t until they saw him play that they quickly changed their minds on him.  
 

For the fourth time now though I am NOT comparing them as a player.  I am comparing them as guys some felt the Colts took higher than they needed too.  

Leonard had a 6.3 grade which is high, very high coming from a small school. I can understand why some fans might have melted down, but he was graded high, very high for where he was coming from. 

 

A good comp on Blackmon would be Oke or Willis.

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1 hour ago, dw49 said:

 

I'll be honest and admit I didn't watch a single Utah game. I am reading he had a terrible game vs USC but that he got much better after that. I'm giving him a bit of  leeway as it was only his 3rd game as a FS . The first 2 games he was probably not tested much as they were against very weak competition. No doubt some are going to be saying this is a reach as all the draft pendants have him around a late 4th or early 5th. This is one where you can trust Ballard or curse him I guess.

This was his first year at safety he played I think just CB before last year.

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10 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Leonard had a 6.3 grade which is high, very high coming from a small school. I can understand why some fans might have melted down, but he was graded high, very high for where he was coming from. 

 

A good comp on Blackmon would be Oke or Willis.

No a good comp would be Leonard because a lot fans didn’t expect him to get drafted so high by the Colts which was the comparison I was making.  For the record some, including Mel Kipper, thought Leonard would be as late as a fourth round pick, although most projected him a third maybe a late second rounder.  
 

My bigger point is also not just to write him off as some are doing because he might be a project pick.  Again, I referenced Leonard because he was another that many here wrote off (and even bleacher report who called him the worst draft pick of that draft) without even seeing him play.  Not because Leonard was a project pick because he clearly wasn’t but Because he was a good lesson and why you don’t judge draft picks on draft night before you see them play.

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2 hours ago, WarGhost21 said:

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Blackmon and think he will succeed in any role. 
 

However, this league is turning into a positionless game. Blackmon is that. I think he best fits as a SS that can make box plays, but he also can work as a nickel corner and a free safety. 

 

This is an excellent point! 

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4 hours ago, krunk said:

Looks like a pretty good athlete. More physical than Hooker. I think he could play both safety spots if asked to.

 

He has very good closing speed when coming up to make the hit. Similar to Willis in that regard. Ballard seems to love players that move across the turf with pace and are proper willing to put in a hit. 

 

I think he will be a versatile piece for us. He could be a good coverage guy on TEs like we saw Quincy Wilson do at times last year.

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I wanted either O-line depth or a DB and I think we got a good, intelligent and confident kid. played corner and then transitioned to safety. Had a lot INT's playing FS & is used to guarding TE's one on one and that could very well be his role with the colts (unfotunately Quincy didnt work out). Yes he's hurt but we dont even know IF or WHEN the season starts, so no big deal. 

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6 hours ago, shastamasta said:


Seduction or three? For sho.

 

7 hours ago, Dogg63 said:

:D :headspin:

Haha sorry, selection. It was late and I missed the typo

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8 hours ago, CheezyColt said:

Ball hawk former basketball player with torn ACL who takes some bad angles. DougDew is going to LOVE this pick </sarcasm>

 

Sounds like a discount Hooker (hehe)

Well, at least it only cost pick 85.:default_20smile:  Glad we got Buckner in the teens.

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It seems like he transitioned to safety this year and it took a few weeks before he got into rhythm at his new position. The impressive thing is... that by the end of the year he was viewed as one of the best defenders in college football, but he tore his ACL in Utah's bowl game. He was selected as 2019 All American. He was also the highest rated Utah defender by PFF. He was selected on the PFF All American team too. Here's what they wrote about him in their blurb:

 

https://www.pff.com/news/college-football-2019-pff-all-american-team

Quote

 

SAFETY

First Team: Julian Blackmon, Utah

The transition to safety from cornerback paid big dividends for Blackmon, as he finished the regular season as the Utes' highest-graded player on defense among a star-studded cast of characters. Blackmon made nine total plays on the ball including four interceptions and five more pass breakups as he displayed his strong coverage skills more often than not. He missed just seven of his total 56 tackle attempts and recorded 11 stops across the board. Blackmon's football instincts are second to none and that showed time in and time out for the four-year letterer. Capping his fine season is perhaps the most perfectly-timed blitz from any safety this year when he sniffed out a hole in UCLA's protection and utilized elite closing speed to track down Dorian Thompson-Robinson for a strip-sack.

Blackmon's all-around play embodies the Utah defense this year and they've more than proven that they belong in the College Football Playoff discussion. Blackmon, of course, being a huge reason why.

 

Second Team: Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Third Team: Xavier McKinney, Alabama
Honorable Mention: Dwayne Johnson Jr., San Diego State; Antwon Kincade, Western Kentucky

 

 

I have not studied his tape so this will be one of the first things I will be doing next week. 

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3 minutes ago, stitches said:

It seems like he transitioned to safety this year and it took a few weeks before he got into rhythm at his new position. The impressive thing is... that by the end of the year he was viewed as one of the best defenders in college football, but he tore his ACL in Utah's bowl game. He was selected as 2019 All American. He was also the highest rated Utah defender by PFF. He was selected on the PFF All American team too. Here's what they wrote about him in their blurb:

 

https://www.pff.com/news/college-football-2019-pff-all-american-team

 

I have not studied his tape so this will be one of the first things I will be doing next week. 


Very interesting that he was a PFF all American yet they also thought he was a massive reach. He graded ahead of McKinney and they call the Giants getting him fifty picks earlier a steal but he’s a reach? As much as I respect them this is a goofy take. 

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7 hours ago, richard pallo said:

Rotoworld referred to him as a SS.  PFF had him rated as the number 5 overall safety in the country out of 417 qualifiers. 

At 187 pounds, I hope he isn’t our SS for the future, that’s about 20-30 light in the pants for life in the NFL imho. At FS though, it’s within reasonable range.  I like the pick. And, let’s say he shows enough during camp, preseason or in a game or two as a sub, and suppose Hookers just balls out hard this season, we would seemingly get a nice draft comp pick for Hooker as he departs and we use a cheaper draft pick as a replacement. It’s stuff like these picks, when successfully mapped out, that keep the team relevant for years on end. Cap management 101

7 hours ago, GoColts8818 said:

I recall people losing their minds in a similar way when Ballard drafted Leonard.  I am NOT saying Blackmon will be as good as Leonard (although I hope he is) but I am saying let the kid play before you judge him.

At this point, I’ll be happy to see any games this season, good or bad because there is serious doubt that the season gets played as we know it. Freaking crappy Chinese virus garbage!!

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I like this pick here, guy is a stud and an all american. Clearly the trait here that we fell in love with is how much he developed in a year, changing positions. High ceiling for Blackmon. 

Just hope medicals are all clear.

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7 hours ago, shastamasta said:

The injury is why I don’t like it. 
 

Conspiracy theory...maybe Ballard knows there won’t be a 2020 season but players will still accrue service time...which means both Mack and Hooker will need new contracts before they actually play again. 


In that scenario...doesn’t matter that Blackmon can’t play next year...and he gets an entire season to recover.

I'm leery of a December ACL tear too.  Seems more like a 4th rounder because of the tear, but really good players get drafted high despite ACLs, so he must have been ranked pretty high.  He's a good tackler and that's a plus for a zone FS.

 

Hooker and Mack will get their PT.  But really, I've always felt Mack has the skill set of a rotational backup, the number 2 guy of a 1-2 punch, not the 1.  He'll do well this season as probably the 1 for at least half the season, then sign elsewhere and get us a comp pick and we'll draft or sign a new 2 guy next spring.

 

Hooker is probably not a top 10 S.  He'll get us a comp pick too and we'll have no dropoff in production with Blackmon, IMO.

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18 minutes ago, The Peytonator said:


Very interesting that he was a PFF all American yet they also thought he was a massive reach. He graded ahead of McKinney and they call the Giants getting him fifty picks earlier a steal but he’s a reach? As much as I respect them this is a goofy take. 

I mean... part of it is that their draft evaluation doesn't completely coincide with their college grading. What I mean is - they take other factors into their evaluation of players as draft prospects as opposed to college players. Some things translate better from college to the NFL than others, maybe the things that he was good at don't translate well to the NFL. That's just me speculating, not defending them by any means. They have had some inconsistent takes this year.

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I would not be surprised if we trade Hooker before the option deadline.  We are receiving offers. Ballard might be okay pulling the trigger now knowing we have Odom who can start in his place and Blackmon waiting in the wings. 

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1 hour ago, The Peytonator said:


Very interesting that he was a PFF all American yet they also thought he was a massive reach. He graded ahead of McKinney and they call the Giants getting him fifty picks earlier a steal but he’s a reach? As much as I respect them this is a goofy take. 

My guess is two things, A: the injury. Injuries usually cause players to drop.

 

B: Ballard has at least one of these every draft that people scream is a reach, Leonard, Smith etc. I’m not saying this kid will be near their level of success but I’m saying I’m gonna give Ballard some leeway.

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35 minutes ago, richard pallo said:

I would not be surprised if we trade Hooker before the option deadline.  We are receiving offers. Ballard might be okay pulling the trigger now knowing we have Odom who can start in his place and Blackmon waiting in the wings. 

Ballard has preached wanting quality depth at every position. Just because we draft a player doesn’t mean he’s going to make anyone else tradeable. Odds are both Mack and Hooker are still on this team by the season, if there’s a season.

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35 minutes ago, csmopar said:

Ballard has preached wanting quality depth at every position. Just because we draft a player doesn’t mean he’s going to make anyone else tradeable. Odds are both Mack and Hooker are still on this team by the season, if there’s a season.

BTW, I bet that there will be a season.  If they can have a strike-shortened season, they can have this.  I think many states will allow it, and for those states that don't, there are plenty of football stadiums around the country with which to play games in.  It would be a terrible precedent if they shut down the season because a dozen teams can't play home games with even some type of social distancing measures.

 

College Football might be different.

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3 minutes ago, DougDew said:

BTW, I bet that there will be a season.  If they can have a strike-shortened season, they can have this.  I think many states will allow it, and for those states that don't, there are plenty of football stadiums around the country with which to play games in.  It would be a terrible precedent if they shut down the season because a dozen teams can't play home games with even some type of social distancing measures.

 

College Football might be different.

I agree on both parts. Just saying that “if” is still out there until it isn’t 

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10 hours ago, ProblChld32 said:


What YOU see on tape and what the scouts and coaches see are two completely different things. It doesn’t remotely make sense that he would play SS. For one Willis has already solidified himself as the starting SS moving forward. Secondly we all know that this is Hookers final contract year and we don’t know that the organization will pick up his 5th year option so drafting his successor sounds like a smart plan doesn’t it? 

I guess I dont understand the successor part. This kid is going to sit out a year because of rehab. Always hear how much time a later rd player will take to develope. How is it possible that the kid will be ready to take over?

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Something I haven't seen mentioned is how little his injury is going to matter specifically for this year. What is he missing besides working out on Zoom?

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10 hours ago, Gigc said:

Everything i've read about Blackmon says he's got talents to develop. Hope so. Whatever you do, don't watch his tape against USC, he got roasted.

(Good tape of Pittman tho :D)

 

Remember that was a September game and USC had probably the 3rd best receiving corps in the nation.  

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9 hours ago, dw49 said:

 

Correct.

I think he could only get better with the right coaching I mean if our intention is safety then I believe he fits in well and sooner rather than later unless he makes a huge comeback bye Malik Hooker.

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3 minutes ago, wig said:

 

Remember that was a September game and USC had probably the 3rd best receiving corps in the nation.  

Utah's secondary as a whole got roasted in that game the rest of the season until the PAC12 title game Utah's defense was really good.

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https://www.pff.com/news/college-football-underrated-players-2019-season

 

PFF also rated Blackmon as most underrated players of 2019

 

S JULIAN BLACKMON, UTAH

 

The Utes may have lost out on the Pac-12 Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff, but the season as a whole was full of positives and breakout performances for the program — with the biggest being the play of Julian Blackmon. After featuring almost exclusively at outside corner throughout his college career and grading out rather poorly, Blackmon made the move to free safety this year and was one of the best in the country.

 

Among 198 players with at least 150 snaps at free safety, Blackmon ranked fourth in PFF grade, at 89.8. On his 324 coverage snaps at free safety, Blackmon allowed just five catches for 63 yards, adding three interceptions and forcing five incompletions. That paved the way for a 30.4 passer rating allowed. Even when a run play was called by the opposition, Blackmon found ways to make some stellar plays while playing deep in the secondary, with five run stops, a tackle for loss and just one missed tackle on 24 attempts.

 

Not only was Blackmon the highest-graded Ute defender this year, with an overall grade of 89.6, but he was the second highest-graded defensive player Utah has had in the PFF College era — behind only Marcus Williams‘ 2016 campaign. In PFF’s wins above replacement metric (WAR), Blackmon was among the five most valuable players on this Utah team altogether. That’s pretty good, considering he gave up 786 yards and a passer rating of 131.7 at cornerback in 2018.

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6 minutes ago, 1959Colts said:

Even when a run play was called by the opposition, Blackmon found ways to make some stellar plays while playing deep in the secondary, with five run stops, a tackle for loss and just one missed tackle on 24 attempts.

That is impressive...not matter how you slice it. 

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Another interesting find...

CBSSports Draft Grades gives Blackmon an A rating: 

 

WR Michael Pittman, USC   B+

241*RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin    A-

385*S Julian Blackmon, Utah  A

 

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/colts-draft-picks-2020-nfl-draft-order-grades-by-team-indianapolis-round-4-7-selections/

 

and here is a link to all their grades for the entire draft:

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/draft-tracker/

 

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He seems to have been a stud before the torn acl, will he be after? I feel like he would have been available later in the draft due to the injury? I trust Ballards judgement, so we’ll have to see how this works out.

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10 hours ago, Chloe6124 said:

Ballard said he should be ready by oct.

 

Positive thing is we don't need to rush him back since we already have 2 starters in Hooker and Willis. Once we get a top offer for Hooker via trade, once Blackmon is ready, then we could move Malik. 

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2 hours ago, richard pallo said:

I would not be surprised if we trade Hooker before the option deadline.  We are receiving offers. Ballard might be okay pulling the trigger now knowing we have Odom who can start in his place and Blackmon waiting in the wings. 

Odum is a SS, and not really a FS. I doubt they trade Hooker now that weve drafted a talented reserve player who wont be ready until what appears to be October maybe November. Im really doubting we trade Hooker now. 

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