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A Closer Look: Julian Blackmon SS/FS/NB/Dime (R3•P21)


What is your 2020 Outlook for Julian Blackmon  

96 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your 2020 Outlook for Julian Blackmon

    • Cut
      1
    • PUP
      28
    • Practice Squad
      1
    • Roster as Special Teams
      8
    • Roster as Depth S
      54
    • Roster as Starting S
      4
  2. 2. What will Blackmon's long term position be?

    • Free Safety
      62
    • Strong or Box Safety
      18
    • NB or Dime
      16
  3. 3. Will Blackmon play in 2020?

    • Yes
      78
    • No
      18


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Name: Julian Blackmon
Twitter: @jumpmanjuice23 (just deleted?)
Hometown: Layton, Utah
Age: 8/24/1998 (21)
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 187 lbs
School: Utah Utes
School2: NA

 

College Position (latest): FS
College Position2: CB
Likely NFL Position: SS, Box Safety, Nickelback

 

Pick: Round 3 • Pick 21 (85)
40 Time: NA, but guessing high 4.4s or low 4.5s
Vert: NA
Draft Grade: 6.14
Draft Projection: Rounds 4-5
Taken Higher Than Projected: Yes
HS 247 Grade: 0.8457 (3 Star)

 

Captain: No
Injury Flags: ACL Dec 2019
Attititude or Behavior Flags: NA


School Awards: NA
Conference Awards:
1st-Team Pac-12
National Awards:
1st-Team All-American by Sports Illustrated
1st-Team All-American by PFF


Family History: NA

 

Academic:
Sociology Degree (2019) 

 

Stats
Year1: CB 2 TOT
Year2: CB 48 TOT, 0.5 TFL, 4 INT, 6 PBU
Year3: CB 48 TOT, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 1 TD, 10 PBU
Year4: FS 60 TOT, 4 TFL, 4 INT, 1 TD, 4 BPU
Year5: NA

 

School Bio:
https://utahutes.com/sports/football/roster/julian-blackmon/8990 

 

NFL.com Bio:
Blackmon was a three-star recruit from Utah even though he broke his hand during his senior year, which cut down the scholarship offers. Signing on with his home-state school proved a wise move for both parties. Blackmon played safety in 2019, garnering second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 honors by starting 13 games, collecting 60 tackles, four for loss, a team-high four interceptions, four pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. His '19 campaign came to an end when he suffered a non-contact injury in the Pac-12 title game. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 accolades at cornerback as a sophomore and junior, starting all 27 games. Blackmon led the Utes with four interceptions in 2017 while also posting 48 tackles and six pass breakups. The following season, he again posted 48 stops, four for loss, an interception, and a team-high 10 pass breakups. Blackmon played in nine games as a reserve his true freshman season, making two tackles.

 

NFL.com Overview:
While Blackmon displayed some inconsistencies in recognition and ball tracking in his first season at safety, the move clearly gives him his best chance to become a pro. The former cornerback has soft hands and carryover route-anticipation that should allow him to match against tight ends as a pro. He can play split safety, big nickel or help support the run as a down safety. His field recognition and angles to the football are still behind from his new position, but he should keep getting better. His December knee injury will push him down the draft board, but he has the traits and talent to make it in the league.

 

NFL.com Strengths:
Has grown into man-sized frame
Good combination of size and speed
Plays with rugged demeanor when it's time
Disciplined reading man cover keys against play-action
Starting cornerback experience with ability to check tight ends
Adequate pattern recognition underneath
Has nine interceptions in three years
Factors favorably when supporting versus quick game
Plays through blockers in space
Quick to close distance and aggressive hitter in run support
Wipe-out talent when running the alleys

 

NFL.com Weaknesses:
Coverage issues in 2018 forced him to safety
Recovery speed is just average
Struggles with balance in sudden transitions
Indecision stalls opportunities for early jumps from high zone
May not have instincts for desired range over the top
Loses deep contain in scramble situations too often
Takes suspect angles and tracking needs work as high safety
Had a very poor game against USC
Suffered knee injury in December

 

East Street's Worthless Opinion:
Talent Grade (O or D): B
Talent Grade (STs): B
Team Need Grade: B+
Round Value Grade: C
55 Man Chance: 90% (likely PUP)
Practice Squad Chance: 100%
Floor: Never comes back from injury
Ceiling: Starting Safety
Year 1 Prediction: Rehab, sits
Long Term Prediction: Starting SS, Box S, NB

 

East Street's Hot Take:
Another talented convert that is still learning his new position. Could have likely been had later due to injury, so Ballard liked the guy. Comes from a Whittingham "man" defense, so chances are good for this young man. Has the size and speed to play in the NFL, but will need to find his position and settle in. 

 

I like the speed, but his range is limited, so not seeing him as a FS. Perhaps that won't matter as much in our zone D. I like him best regardless as a well rounded SS or NB/Dime long term due to toughness, tackling, and man-press experience. Unfortunately we're a little thin at S, and he likely won't offer much in 2020 due to injury rehab. 

 

Links:
https://www.nfl.com/prospects/julian-blackmon?id=3219424c-4128-3027-fdc4-2c27128f84f7 
https://thedraftnetwork.com/player/julian-blackmon/Q5viT1WLPL 
https://www.sltrib.com/sports/utah-utes/2019/12/12/ute-safeties-julian/ 

 

Vids:

 

 

 

 

 


 

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I forgot to make the voting visible, but I voted PUP, SS, and No. I just don't think he'll trust the ACL enough to be really compete, and also think the Colts will be more patient, especially if we don't have any injury issues at S.

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52 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Name: Julian Blackmon
Twitter: @jumpmanjuice23 (just deleted?)
Hometown: Layton, Utah
Age: 8/24/1998 (21)
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 187 lbs
School: Utah Utes
School2: NA

 

College Position (latest): FS
College Position2: CB
Likely NFL Position: SS, Box Safety, Nickelback

 

Pick: Round 3 • Pick 21 (85)
40 Time: NA, but guessing high 4.4s or low 4.5s
Vert: NA
Draft Grade: 6.14
Draft Projection: Rounds 4-5
Taken Higher Than Projected: Yes
HS 247 Grade: 0.8457 (3 Star)

 

Captain: No
Injury Flags: ACL Dec 2019
Attititude or Behavior Flags: NA


School Awards: NA
Conference Awards:
1st-Team Pac-12
National Awards:
1st-Team All-American by Sports Illustrated
1st-Team All-American by PFF


Family History: NA

 

Academic:
Sociology Degree (2019) 

 

Stats
Year1: CB 2 TOT
Year2: CB 48 TOT, 0.5 TFL, 4 INT, 6 PBU
Year3: CB 48 TOT, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 1 TD, 10 PBU
Year4: FS 60 TOT, 4 TFL, 4 INT, 1 TD, 4 BPU
Year5: NA

 

School Bio:
https://utahutes.com/sports/football/roster/julian-blackmon/8990 

 

NFL.com Bio:
Blackmon was a three-star recruit from Utah even though he broke his hand during his senior year, which cut down the scholarship offers. Signing on with his home-state school proved a wise move for both parties. Blackmon played safety in 2019, garnering second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 honors by starting 13 games, collecting 60 tackles, four for loss, a team-high four interceptions, four pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. His '19 campaign came to an end when he suffered a non-contact injury in the Pac-12 title game. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 accolades at cornerback as a sophomore and junior, starting all 27 games. Blackmon led the Utes with four interceptions in 2017 while also posting 48 tackles and six pass breakups. The following season, he again posted 48 stops, four for loss, an interception, and a team-high 10 pass breakups. Blackmon played in nine games as a reserve his true freshman season, making two tackles.

 

NFL.com Overview:
While Blackmon displayed some inconsistencies in recognition and ball tracking in his first season at safety, the move clearly gives him his best chance to become a pro. The former cornerback has soft hands and carryover route-anticipation that should allow him to match against tight ends as a pro. He can play split safety, big nickel or help support the run as a down safety. His field recognition and angles to the football are still behind from his new position, but he should keep getting better. His December knee injury will push him down the draft board, but he has the traits and talent to make it in the league.

 

NFL.com Strengths:
Has grown into man-sized frame
Good combination of size and speed
Plays with rugged demeanor when it's time
Disciplined reading man cover keys against play-action
Starting cornerback experience with ability to check tight ends
Adequate pattern recognition underneath
Has nine interceptions in three years
Factors favorably when supporting versus quick game
Plays through blockers in space
Quick to close distance and aggressive hitter in run support
Wipe-out talent when running the alleys

 

NFL.com Weaknesses:
Coverage issues in 2018 forced him to safety
Recovery speed is just average
Struggles with balance in sudden transitions
Indecision stalls opportunities for early jumps from high zone
May not have instincts for desired range over the top
Loses deep contain in scramble situations too often
Takes suspect angles and tracking needs work as high safety
Had a very poor game against USC
Suffered knee injury in December

 

East Street's Worthless Opinion:
Talent Grade (O or D): B
Talent Grade (STs): B
Team Need Grade: B+
Round Value Grade: C
55 Man Chance: 90% (likely PUP)
Practice Squad Chance: 100%
Floor: Never comes back from injury
Ceiling: Starting Safety
Year 1 Prediction: Rehab, sits
Long Term Prediction: Starting SS, Box S, NB

 

East Street's Hot Take:
Another talented convert that is still learning his new position. Could have likely been had later due to injury, so Ballard liked the guy. Comes from a Whittingham "man" defense, so chances are good for this young man. Has the size and speed to play in the NFL, but will need to find his position and settle in. 

 

I like the speed, but his range is limited, so not seeing him as a FS. Perhaps that won't matter as much in our zone D. I like him best regardless as a well rounded SS or NB/Dime long term due to toughness, tackling, and man-press experience. Unfortunately we're a little thin at S, and he likely won't offer much in 2020 due to injury rehab. 

 

Links:
https://www.nfl.com/prospects/julian-blackmon?id=3219424c-4128-3027-fdc4-2c27128f84f7 
https://thedraftnetwork.com/player/julian-blackmon/Q5viT1WLPL 
https://www.sltrib.com/sports/utah-utes/2019/12/12/ute-safeties-julian/ 

 

Vids:

 

 

 

 

 


 

well, if you listen to Ballard on the Herd, he says Blackmon will be playing in the FS spot. So that answers that question.

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4 minutes ago, csmopar said:

well, if you listen to Ballard on the Herd, he says Blackmon will be playing in the FS spot. So that answers that question.

I don't recall them talking about Blackmon on the below. Was there another interview?

 

Regardless, I still stand by my prediction. For the record, Ballard talked about Banogu as SAM last year, and that didn't even last through camp. I like Blackmon at SS/Box/NB or Dime.

 

 

 

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I like him more as an athletic strong safety. I think he can be a good cover guy from his time at corner on TE's/big body receivers, but also looks a sure tackler in open field.

 

Not sure about his range as a free safety. But if they want him to be the long term free safety, for the sake of his development there, he has to play FS straight away. He is still learning the position and made a number of mistakes there last season. 

 

Either way it's important they have a specific plan for him. 

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5 minutes ago, Colt Overseas said:

I like him more as an athletic strong safety. I think he can be a good cover guy from his time at corner on TE's/big body receivers, but also looks a sure tackler in open field.

 

Not sure about his range as a free safety. But if they want him to be the long term free safety, for the sake of his development there, he has to play FS straight away. He is still learning the position and made a number of mistakes there last season. 

 

Either way it's important they have a specific plan for him. 

Most reviews I've seen peg him to SS or NB. Polian said the same thing. TDN IIRC the same.

 

Like you said, I simply think he lacks the range. Conversely though, all of his upsides suggest he'd make a great SS. He'd be much better in coverage than Willis.

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PUP, SS, and No

 

This could change depending on injuries or overall play (or lack of) with our safeties.

 

Ballard said on the “with the next pick” he could envision this young man being a long term FS but I for selfish reasons picked SS because I believe he could ball out there.

 

We use a lot of 3 safety sets so if healthy he could definitely play this year but I’m hoping others play well enough that we allow him to fully recover before taking the field.

 

This kid strikes me as our biggest boom or bust prospect simply because I don’t believe in “bust” after round 3 and he is more of a projection than Pittman or Taylor.

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35 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

I don't recall them talking about Blackmon on the below. Was there another interview?

 

Regardless, I still stand by my prediction. For the record, Ballard talked about Banogu as SAM last year, and that didn't even last through camp. I like Blackmon at SS/Box/NB or Dime.

 

 

 

sorry,I miss spoke, i'd watched both last night back to back, got them backwards.

 its on this one. the 11:55 mark.  Chris Ballard: "I think this guy is a legit FS in the league"
 

 

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6 minutes ago, csmopar said:

sorry,I miss spoke, i'd watched both last night back to back, got them backwards.

 its on this one. the 11:55 mark.  Chris Ballard: "I think this guy is a legit FS in the league"
 

 

Thank you! 

 

Ballard mentions right before that, NB. Also, Eberflus (I think that was him) talks about his versatility at positions, and his tackling. I'm gonna stay with SS

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   He must have had a 2nd rd grade to be injured and still taken at that spot. lol
   And i don't know how a person could think he projects as a SS at his weight.
  He would be injured way to much. 
   

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23 minutes ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

   He must have had a 2nd rd grade to be injured and still taken at that spot. lol
   And i don't know how a person could think he projects as a SS at his weight.
  He would be injured way to much. 
   

Nah. Watch his tape. Very physical and very good tackler. Eberflus mentioned Utah coaches saying he was the best tackler they ever coached IIRC. And he's still growing into his body. Several sources have him at 204 (Utah Utes roster, Wiki, TDN, plus others). Keep in mind he didn't work out at the combine (not sure he attended at all), so the 187 they show might be off. I used the combine number, but probably should have starred it.

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13 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Nah. Watch his tape. Very physical and very good tackler. Eberflus mentioned Utah coaches saying he was the best tackler they ever coached IIRC. And he's still growing into his body. Several sources have him at 204 (Utah Utes roster, Wiki, TDN, plus others). Keep in mind he didn't work out at the combine (not sure he attended at all), so the 187 they show might be off. I used the combine number, but probably should have starred it.

Per this article from August of last year about his switch to S from CB, it says:

In order to be effective as a safety, Blackmon needed to put on some weight and is now listed at 204 pounds, up from 190 pounds a year ago.

 

Sounds like some sites plucked his old CB weight out of the archives and didn't pay enough attention to his having bulked up for the switch to S.

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My entries: PUP, FS, will not play in 2020. ACL is a 12 month recovery; counting on anything better than that is a roll of the dice.

 

I just watched whatever I could on him last night. Not a lot online from his FS experience in 2020, so I even watched some of his corner play in previous years. Really good ball skills. Ballard talks about defenders who can create turnovers, I see that in Blackmon. I don't know that he has the range to play FS, he seemed a little late getting over on some plays (including the big Pittman play against USC). I don't think his body type will work at SS; I guess that depends on what his real weight was in 2019. His play at corner shows that he likes to take risks -- probably too much to play nickel for me -- but he does a good job tracking the ball, closing, and clicking down to make a tackle after the catch.

 

I like some of what I see. I have questions about other parts, but I don't have a whole lot of video or data to work with here (no combine, no pro day). I'm writing him off for 2020, anything he gives us this year is a bonus.

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6 minutes ago, Dogg63 said:

Per this article from August of last year about his switch to S from CB, it says:

In order to be effective as a safety, Blackmon needed to put on some weight and is now listed at 204 pounds, up from 190 pounds a year ago.

 

Sounds like some sites plucked his old CB weight out of the archives and didn't pay enough attention to his having bulked up for the switch to S.

Yup. I thought perhaps he's simply lost weight since being injured in Dec. 

I have no doubt he'll be in the 200-215 range though when fully healthy and doing typical S&C. And that's plenty.

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I don't think he plays this year.  I think they will put him on the PUP list and then put him on IR once the season gets rolling.

 

That said I also think there is a good chance he plays CB.  

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Well, I'm going against the group here and saying that since the question is "long term" position, it will be free safety. I see exactly what Ballard sees in that he's an incredibly athletic player who has all the cover and ball skills to play that position. Plus, he's played just one season as any kind of safety at all, so I'm not in any way concerned right now about his inconsistency last year with range, timing or instincts. He's plenty athletic enough to play the position, and as smart and hard working as he allegedly is, I think he can develop all those things quite well.

 

But as with all things, time will tell. Either way, he has a lot of talent to work with, wherever he ends up long term. That's the most important thing.

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I'd encourage anyone interested to look deeper on Utah's (Whittingham's) D scheme. While they are in a 4-2-5 like us most of the time, they are very heavy man, while we are very heavy zone. Eberflus said we were going to run more man last year, but I didn't notice a lot of difference. Point being, their FS responsibilities are different. Their FS are more aggressive, while ours is deeper and more lurking (last line).

 

Here's a PFF blurb I found on Blackmon

 


 

Quote

 

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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13 hours ago, EastStreet said:

Name: Julian Blackmon
Twitter: @jumpmanjuice23 (just deleted?)
Hometown: Layton, Utah
Age: 8/24/1998 (21)
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 187 lbs
School: Utah Utes
School2: NA

 

College Position (latest): FS
College Position2: CB
Likely NFL Position: SS, Box Safety, Nickelback

 

Pick: Round 3 • Pick 21 (85)
40 Time: NA, but guessing high 4.4s or low 4.5s
Vert: NA
Draft Grade: 6.14
Draft Projection: Rounds 4-5
Taken Higher Than Projected: Yes
HS 247 Grade: 0.8457 (3 Star)

 

Captain: No
Injury Flags: ACL Dec 2019
Attititude or Behavior Flags: NA


School Awards: NA
Conference Awards:
1st-Team Pac-12
National Awards:
1st-Team All-American by Sports Illustrated
1st-Team All-American by PFF


Family History: NA

 

Academic:
Sociology Degree (2019) 

 

Stats
Year1: CB 2 TOT
Year2: CB 48 TOT, 0.5 TFL, 4 INT, 6 PBU
Year3: CB 48 TOT, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 1 TD, 10 PBU
Year4: FS 60 TOT, 4 TFL, 4 INT, 1 TD, 4 BPU
Year5: NA

 

School Bio:
https://utahutes.com/sports/football/roster/julian-blackmon/8990 

 

NFL.com Bio:
Blackmon was a three-star recruit from Utah even though he broke his hand during his senior year, which cut down the scholarship offers. Signing on with his home-state school proved a wise move for both parties. Blackmon played safety in 2019, garnering second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 honors by starting 13 games, collecting 60 tackles, four for loss, a team-high four interceptions, four pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. His '19 campaign came to an end when he suffered a non-contact injury in the Pac-12 title game. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 accolades at cornerback as a sophomore and junior, starting all 27 games. Blackmon led the Utes with four interceptions in 2017 while also posting 48 tackles and six pass breakups. The following season, he again posted 48 stops, four for loss, an interception, and a team-high 10 pass breakups. Blackmon played in nine games as a reserve his true freshman season, making two tackles.

 

NFL.com Overview:
While Blackmon displayed some inconsistencies in recognition and ball tracking in his first season at safety, the move clearly gives him his best chance to become a pro. The former cornerback has soft hands and carryover route-anticipation that should allow him to match against tight ends as a pro. He can play split safety, big nickel or help support the run as a down safety. His field recognition and angles to the football are still behind from his new position, but he should keep getting better. His December knee injury will push him down the draft board, but he has the traits and talent to make it in the league.

 

NFL.com Strengths:
Has grown into man-sized frame
Good combination of size and speed
Plays with rugged demeanor when it's time
Disciplined reading man cover keys against play-action
Starting cornerback experience with ability to check tight ends
Adequate pattern recognition underneath
Has nine interceptions in three years
Factors favorably when supporting versus quick game
Plays through blockers in space
Quick to close distance and aggressive hitter in run support
Wipe-out talent when running the alleys

 

NFL.com Weaknesses:
Coverage issues in 2018 forced him to safety
Recovery speed is just average
Struggles with balance in sudden transitions
Indecision stalls opportunities for early jumps from high zone
May not have instincts for desired range over the top
Loses deep contain in scramble situations too often
Takes suspect angles and tracking needs work as high safety
Had a very poor game against USC
Suffered knee injury in December

 

East Street's Worthless Opinion:
Talent Grade (O or D): B
Talent Grade (STs): B
Team Need Grade: B+
Round Value Grade: C
55 Man Chance: 90% (likely PUP)
Practice Squad Chance: 100%
Floor: Never comes back from injury
Ceiling: Starting Safety
Year 1 Prediction: Rehab, sits
Long Term Prediction: Starting SS, Box S, NB

 

East Street's Hot Take:
Another talented convert that is still learning his new position. Could have likely been had later due to injury, so Ballard liked the guy. Comes from a Whittingham "man" defense, so chances are good for this young man. Has the size and speed to play in the NFL, but will need to find his position and settle in. 

 

I like the speed, but his range is limited, so not seeing him as a FS. Perhaps that won't matter as much in our zone D. I like him best regardless as a well rounded SS or NB/Dime long term due to toughness, tackling, and man-press experience. Unfortunately we're a little thin at S, and he likely won't offer much in 2020 due to injury rehab. 

 

Links:
https://www.nfl.com/prospects/julian-blackmon?id=3219424c-4128-3027-fdc4-2c27128f84f7 
https://thedraftnetwork.com/player/julian-blackmon/Q5viT1WLPL 
https://www.sltrib.com/sports/utah-utes/2019/12/12/ute-safeties-julian/ 

 

Vids:

 

 

 

 

 


 

We have our answer as to what position he will play, if you watched the last episode of with the Next pick. Ballard clearly started that “Blackmon is a starting FS in the NFL”

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37 minutes ago, ProblChld32 said:

We have our answer as to what position he will play, if you watched the last episode of with the Next pick. Ballard clearly started that “Blackmon is a starting FS in the NFL”

See above. He also mentions NB right before that . And Eberflus talks about position flexibility. Banogu was also a SAM last year same time.

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Looks like he’s either the heir apparent to Hooker or he’ll be our third safety.  Either way, he’s not getting cut, but he could (should?) spend the whole season on the PUP. 


The staff appears to love him more than posters here do......

 

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7 hours ago, Valpo2004 said:

I don't think he plays this year.  I think they will put him on the PUP list and then put him on IR once the season gets rolling.

 

That said I also think there is a good chance he plays CB.  

Yeah I’m thinking the same here. I would love to see him play corner when fully healthy. 

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11 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

Looks like he’s either the heir apparent to Hooker or he’ll be our third safety.  Either way, he’s not getting cut, but he could (should?) spend the whole season on the PUP. 


The staff appears to love him more than posters here do......

 

I don't think he can spend the entire season on PUP, they have to IR him at some point.  What is it, PUP until week 8 and then 3 weeks to put on active roster or move to IR.

 

Other than that, I agree I do not see him playing this year and there is really no reason to play him.

 

Also (not directed at you NCF just general discussion) I disagree that he lacks the range to play FS, I think he easily has the range, what he doesn't have is the experience to track off receiver (and maybe that is what some people consider range), he takes poor angles.  I don't know if that is something that can be taught or not.

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For those interested, a few replays coming up. 60 Min cuts I think.

 

Utah vs Oregon - Sunday 8pm on PAC12 Channel

Utah vs Colorado - 5/10 at 8pm on PAC12 Channel

 

Also, found this snippet from the Draft Network

 

Crabbs

Quote

Player Summary - Julian Blackmon projects as a developmental starter in a defense that utilizes a lot of split safety coverage. Blackmon's plus tackling skills are best implemented from a Strong Safety role but he offers enough man to man ability as a former corner to stay on the field in sub-package situations as well. Blackmon will need patience as he continues to acclimate to playing deeper portions of the field and early play may bring some headaches as he irons out spacing inconsistencies. 

 

Marino

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Utah safety James Blackmon enters the NFL after starting for three seasons in the Utes secondary, two at cornerback and his senior campaign at safety. The transition to safety was out of necessity after struggling as a corner and he showed enough traits to be on the NFL’s radar. Blackmon offers good size, athletic ability, versatility and flashy ball skills that make him an intriguing option. With that said, his tape is highly inconsistent in almost every area. Blackmon isn’t lacking the physical traits needed to excel in the NFL and he is known for his football character. An investment in Blackmon is a belief in your ability to develop him, but his ceiling is worth the gamble although perspective must remain in check by being mindful he just may not put everything together. 

 

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He's Antoine Bethea.  Willis is Bob Sanders.  Neither S is a traditional box S or FS when playing in split safety defense.   I don't know if Blackmon can play the pure deep zone at an elite level, but if he can play it as well as Bethea, we're probably alright, IMO.

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11 minutes ago, DougDew said:

He's Antoine Bethea.  Willis is Bob Sanders.  Neither S is a traditional box S or FS when playing in split safety defense.   I don't know if Blackmon can play the pure deep zone at an elite level, but if he can play it as well as Bethea, we're probably alright, IMO.

Willis is Sanders? Come on dude... Sanders was a 4.35 heat seeking missile. Willis has got a decent nose for the ball, but he's only a 4.5s guy who struggles in coverage.

 

On Blackmon... I really don't care where ends up as long as he's good. The film I've seen, I think he's best suited SS or NB/Dime

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8 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Willis is Sanders? Come on dude... Sanders was a 4.35 heat seeking missile. Willis has got a decent nose for the ball, but he's only a 4.5s guy who struggles in coverage.

 

On Blackmon... I really don't care where ends up as long as he's good. The film I've seen, I think he's best suited SS or NB/Dime

I meant the role, not the player.  Bethea would tend to have the more responsibility of the deeper end than Sanders.  If Blackmon is as good as Bethea, we're fine.

 

Yeah, Willis is not Sanders, and may not be good enough.

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4 hours ago, Coffeedrinker said:

I don't think he can spend the entire season on PUP, they have to IR him at some point.  What is it, PUP until week 8 and then 3 weeks to put on active roster or move to IR.

 

Other than that, I agree I do not see him playing this year and there is really no reason to play him.

 

Also (not directed at you NCF just general discussion) I disagree that he lacks the range to play FS, I think he easily has the range, what he doesn't have is the experience to track off receiver (and maybe that is what some people consider range), he takes poor angles.  I don't know if that is something that can be taught or not.

 

Thanks.   Good post.

 

Appreciate the good info.    I believe you are correct.   

 

The mind goes rusty on some of those issues in the off-season!       :peek:

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While taking the week off from the board last week, spent some time on watching film/games. The Utah/Oregon game was on the PAC channel in a 60 minute cut.... 

 

Blackmon's coverage skill were up and down, but boy did he absolutely lay a lick on a RB in the backfield the first play of the game. Incredible hit. The poor RB looked to be totally demolished. Size wise, I don't see any issue with him playing SS if that's were he ends up.

 

The Colorado/Utah game is on the PAC network Sunday morning at 9am for those interested.

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He'll definitely have to put on some size and strength to play SS. At 187 he'll be out there getting steam rolled. Him and the CB we got, tiny guys. Good thing they have time to put on some man weight

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On 4/30/2020 at 7:59 AM, EastStreet said:

I don't recall them talking about Blackmon on the below. Was there another interview?

 

Regardless, I still stand by my prediction. For the record, Ballard talked about Banogu as SAM last year, and that didn't even last through camp. I like Blackmon at SS/Box/NB or Dime.

 

 

 

Off topic: This one sounds like swag Kelly is as good as gone.  In other interviews he has said Eason has to make the team.  This one it’s pretty clear that won’t be an issue. 

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On 4/30/2020 at 7:29 AM, EastStreet said:

I forgot to make the voting visible, but I voted PUP, SS, and No. I just don't think he'll trust the ACL enough to be really compete, and also think the Colts will be more patient, especially if we don't have any injury issues at S.

Yeah, I voted PUP to I think it'll be at least or the year or two after until we see his full potential. 

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On 4/30/2020 at 8:30 AM, csmopar said:

sorry,I miss spoke, i'd watched both last night back to back, got them backwards.

 its on this one. the 11:55 mark.  Chris Ballard: "I think this guy is a legit FS in the league"
 

 

I love Ballard's man cave I want one exactly. 

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On 5/9/2020 at 10:30 AM, Fluke_33 said:

Off topic: This one sounds like swag Kelly is as good as gone.  In other interviews he has said Eason has to make the team.  This one it’s pretty clear that won’t be an issue. 

I don't see it that way at all. Kelly can ride the PS again. Eason will stay on the 55

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On 5/9/2020 at 1:37 PM, superrep1967 said:

Yeah, I voted PUP to I think it'll be at least or the year or two after until we see his full potential. 

The general saying is one year to heal, and one year to trust. And trying to do that while being a rook and going from a heavy man system to a heavy zone system, is a lot to ask in one year.

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10 hours ago, EastStreet said:

The general saying is one year to heal, and one year to trust. And trying to do that while being a rook and going from a heavy man system to a heavy zone system, is a lot to ask in one year.

IMO Ballard drafted him with exactly that in mind. 

Ballard did grade him high enough to draft him #85th knowing his injury would be a concern this season. He gambled so now we wait. 

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On 4/30/2020 at 5:29 AM, EastStreet said:

I forgot to make the voting visible, but I voted PUP, SS, and No. I just don't think he'll trust the ACL enough to be really compete, and also think the Colts will be more patient, especially if we don't have any injury issues at S.

 

I voted 'roster depth at S, FS, and yes'... 

 

Ballard has said he likely won't see the field until October.  Ballard has also commented on his versatility.  I don't think he'll see the field much, but I think he'll see the field either as a backup S or in packages where he's used more as a nickel or dime back.

 

On 4/30/2020 at 5:59 AM, EastStreet said:

I don't recall them talking about Blackmon on the below. Was there another interview?

 

Regardless, I still stand by my prediction. For the record, Ballard talked about Banogu as SAM last year, and that didn't even last through camp. I like Blackmon at SS/Box/NB or Dime.

 

 

 

 

My thought is FS.  One because Ballard has said that.  Two because Willis (IMO) certainly isn't a free safety.  Three, Hooker's 5th year option wasn't picked up (maybe I read too much into it, but to me, that means Ballard is confident that Blackmon can be his replacement).

 

On 4/30/2020 at 9:00 AM, Superman said:

My entries: PUP, FS, will not play in 2020. ACL is a 12 month recovery; counting on anything better than that is a roll of the dice.

 

I just watched whatever I could on him last night. Not a lot online from his FS experience in 2020, so I even watched some of his corner play in previous years. Really good ball skills. Ballard talks about defenders who can create turnovers, I see that in Blackmon. I don't know that he has the range to play FS, he seemed a little late getting over on some plays (including the big Pittman play against USC). I don't think his body type will work at SS; I guess that depends on what his real weight was in 2019. His play at corner shows that he likes to take risks -- probably too much to play nickel for me -- but he does a good job tracking the ball, closing, and clicking down to make a tackle after the catch.

 

I like some of what I see. I have questions about other parts, but I don't have a whole lot of video or data to work with here (no combine, no pro day). I'm writing him off for 2020, anything he gives us this year is a bonus.

 

Luck used to like to take hits, and Reich coached him not to.  I think risk-taking is a skill that can be coached/taught at the NFL level.  

 

What Ballard's doing is building a very athletic defense.  He likes versatile players.  I think we'll see a lot of guys in 'hybrid' roles.  With Tell and Blackmon we have two guys who can (at least hypothetically) play FS, outside CB, slot CB.  With Leonard, Okereke and Speed we have 3 very fast/rangy/athletic LBs who can be utilized at more than 1 position.  

 

I project Blackmon will see the field this year.  He'll probably not see much of it and unless Hooker is hurt, I don't think we'll see him much at FS.  Instead, I think he'll be used to cover athletic tightends (similar to what Q. Wilson did against Travis Kelce).  

 

On 5/1/2020 at 7:14 AM, DougDew said:

He's Antoine Bethea.  Willis is Bob Sanders.  Neither S is a traditional box S or FS when playing in split safety defense.   I don't know if Blackmon can play the pure deep zone at an elite level, but if he can play it as well as Bethea, we're probably alright, IMO.

 

I understand you're talking about the 'role' -- but Willis is nowhere near a healthy Sanders who was the DPOY .  TBH, if everyone on the D stays healthy this year, and if some of the young guys continue improving (Ya-Sin, Turay, Tell, etc.) I think Willis will be the weakest link on our D.  I think, coming out of college, he was pretty close to at his ceiling.  He's not a bad player, but I don't think we're going to see him look much better than he did as a rookie as his career moves along.  

 

Also, Bethea is a 3x pro-bowler.  Granted, he he was a 6th round pick from Howard, he had a very solid career.  Again, I get you're talking about the 'role', but to compare a guy who was a 3rd round pick coming off a major knee surgery to a 3x pro-bowler and integral part of a SB title is a bit much, IMO.

 

13 hours ago, EastStreet said:

The general saying is one year to heal, and one year to trust. And trying to do that while being a rook and going from a heavy man system to a heavy zone system, is a lot to ask in one year.

 

As I said earlier, I don't think he'll see the field much (barring injury to Hooker)... but, the fact that Ballard didn't take on Hooker's 5th year option says something to me.  I don't think it means 100% that Hooker won't be potentially offered a renewal contract... but I also think Ballard's going to want to see what we actually have in Blackmon before making the decision to move on from Hooker.

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