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Julian Blackmon is for REAL


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Julian Blackmon is a serious dude. For a rookie to step in with that much self confidence and key plays is a huge find for the Colts secondary. Having Blackmon and Willis in the secondary is going to be a huge upgrade from the past. He tackles really well and his closing speed is faster than most because of his instinct. Willis's interception was due to Blackmon closing speed and stepping in front of the WR to intercept the ball but resulted in a tip for Willis to intercept. There was a few 3rd down plays which Blackmon dislodged the ball due his timely hit.  For a first start is quite impressive.

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I'd like to see if the person who scouted Blackmon is the same who scouted Leonard..  it seems like he's the type of guy who Ballard wants in this system.  A lot of people thought we overreached for him, like they did Leonard..  as of last week, he (like Leonard) came in and produced at a high-level in his first action in the NFL (small-school guy, a lot of doubters and he did fine).

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He played 34 snaps in his first game action.  He looked very good, but not ready to label him the real deal yet.   He's a rookie and has to get a few games under his belt before I can get a feel for his play.  He's off to a very good start, but let's see if he can continue that.

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38 minutes ago, CurBeatElite said:

I'd like to see if the person who scouted Blackmon is the same who scouted Leonard..  it seems like he's the type of guy who Ballard wants in this system.  A lot of people thought we overreached for him, like they did Leonard..  as of last week, he (like Leonard) came in and produced at a high-level in his first action in the NFL (small-school guy, a lot of doubters and he did fine).

 

 

Here's what I found about Leonard:

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2019/02/26/inside-life-indianapolis-colts-nfl-scout-darius-leonard-marlon-mack-nfl-draft/2926527002/

 

Here's what I found about Blackmon:

https://www.colts.com/news/julian-blackmon-chris-mcgaha-matt-terpening-2020-scouts-eye

 

Two different scouts, but I think your view that they both fit what Ballard likes is the key.  McGaha scouted Blackmon and said they saw how athletic/versatile he was.  Matt Terpening said:

"So, Julian is really unique. So as a junior last year, he actually thought about coming out, he played corner, and he decided to stay in school, which was the right move for him. And they moved him to safety. And he just had a lights-out season, lights-out senior season. He really jumps off tape. He's got versatility. He's got speed. And he can cover. And I think the NFL is about trends. And I think the trend in the NFL is you got to get defensive players that can main cover and that can turn the ball over. And he's a three-down player. So he can play the run. He can play the pass. He can match up against different wideouts and he can play in the post. And I think that's what drew us to the player. And the injury, I think Coach and Chris felt it was the right time to take him because he probably wasn't going to be there very long."

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1 hour ago, CurBeatElite said:

I'd like to see if the person who scouted Blackmon is the same who scouted Leonard..  it seems like he's the type of guy who Ballard wants in this system.  A lot of people thought we overreached for him, like they did Leonard..  as of last week, he (like Leonard) came in and produced at a high-level in his first action in the NFL (small-school guy, a lot of doubters and he did fine).

Odds are it’s not the same scout.

 

Typically, scouts get regions or areas.

 

Leonard was likely found by a scout in the South, or Atlantic region.  Blackmon likely found by a scout in the West, or Mountain region. 
 

I do remember Ballard and an area scout saying Utah had a number of high quality defensive backs, and we were at Utah to look at other players.  And the Utah coaches kept pushing our scout to look at Julian.   He grew on us.  The more we looked, the more we liked.   

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4 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Odds are it’s not the same scout.

 

Typically, scouts get regions or areas.

 

Leonard was likely found by a scout in the South, or Atlantic region.  Blackmon likely found by a scout in the West, or Mountain region. 
 

I do remember Ballard and an area scout saying Utah had a number of high quality defensive backs, and we were at Utah to look at other players.  And the Utah coaches kept pushing our scout to look at Julian.   He grew on us.  The more we looked, the more we liked.   

 

@MB-ColtsFan has a nice write up above... I didn't go through the research and assumed you were right (in terms of area scouts) -- they just kind of remind me of each other (smaller schools, most pundits thought we picked them too early, etc..) - both are Ballard guys and it's great that Ballard's scouts can find these types of guys from all over the country (maybe with a little bias to Ohio).

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Too soon on Blackmon. Great first game but too soon. MN was a train wreck at times, with a poor/injured OL. 

 

The good news is we play two bad Os the next two weeks, so he'll have some time to get his feet wet.

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3 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

Odds are it’s not the same scout.

 

Typically, scouts get regions or areas.

 

Leonard was likely found by a scout in the South, or Atlantic region.  Blackmon likely found by a scout in the West, or Mountain region. 
 

I do remember Ballard and an area scout saying Utah had a number of high quality defensive backs, and we were at Utah to look at other players.  And the Utah coaches kept pushing our scout to look at Julian.   He grew on us.  The more we looked, the more we liked.   

Yep. Blackmon played in Utah and Leonard played in South Carolina State, so two completely different regions. I believe Ballard said that on "with the next pick" about the coaching loving Blackmon. I thought it was early to draft him because of the ACL tear, but he ended up playing week 2 and playing well. Ballard may of hit the bullseye with this pick. Right when Hooker goes down, Blackmon steps up. Thank god for great depth and a GM that knows how to draft.

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9 hours ago, MB-ColtsFan said:

 

 

Here's what I found about Leonard:

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2019/02/26/inside-life-indianapolis-colts-nfl-scout-darius-leonard-marlon-mack-nfl-draft/2926527002/

 

Here's what I found about Blackmon:

https://www.colts.com/news/julian-blackmon-chris-mcgaha-matt-terpening-2020-scouts-eye

 

Two different scouts, but I think your view that they both fit what Ballard likes is the key.  McGaha scouted Blackmon and said they saw how athletic/versatile he was.  Matt Terpening said:

"So, Julian is really unique. So as a junior last year, he actually thought about coming out, he played corner, and he decided to stay in school, which was the right move for him. And they moved him to safety. And he just had a lights-out season, lights-out senior season. He really jumps off tape. He's got versatility. He's got speed. And he can cover. And I think the NFL is about trends. And I think the trend in the NFL is you got to get defensive players that can main cover and that can turn the ball over. And he's a three-down player. So he can play the run. He can play the pass. He can match up against different wideouts and he can play in the post. And I think that's what drew us to the player. And the injury, I think Coach and Chris felt it was the right time to take him because he probably wasn't going to be there very long."

i think this speaks to the scouts that Ballard has assembled.  Anyone can hit on 1st rounders, but when you're consistently getting impact players rounds 2 and beyond, that's huge for long term success and salary cap management.  I hope the trend continues

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10 hours ago, MB-ColtsFan said:

He played 34 snaps in his first game action.  He looked very good, but not ready to label him the real deal yet.   He's a rookie and has to get a few games under his belt before I can get a feel for his play.  He's off to a very good start, but let's see if he can continue that.

 

34 snaps in a game where the starting QB had the worst game of his career no less. The PD that led to the tipped INT was nice though...but that also was a YOLO throw into double coverage. 

 

PFF graded as a 67.8 for that game...which is a good start...but too early to label him as the real deal.

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9 hours ago, MB-ColtsFan said:

 

 

Here's what I found about Leonard:

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2019/02/26/inside-life-indianapolis-colts-nfl-scout-darius-leonard-marlon-mack-nfl-draft/2926527002/

 

Here's what I found about Blackmon:

https://www.colts.com/news/julian-blackmon-chris-mcgaha-matt-terpening-2020-scouts-eye

 

Two different scouts, but I think your view that they both fit what Ballard likes is the key.  McGaha scouted Blackmon and said they saw how athletic/versatile he was.  Matt Terpening said:

"So, Julian is really unique. So as a junior last year, he actually thought about coming out, he played corner, and he decided to stay in school, which was the right move for him. And they moved him to safety. And he just had a lights-out season, lights-out senior season. He really jumps off tape. He's got versatility. He's got speed. And he can cover. And I think the NFL is about trends. And I think the trend in the NFL is you got to get defensive players that can main cover and that can turn the ball over. And he's a three-down player. So he can play the run. He can play the pass. He can match up against different wideouts and he can play in the post. And I think that's what drew us to the player. And the injury, I think Coach and Chris felt it was the right time to take him because he probably wasn't going to be there very long."

 

I think they wanted a scheme versatile S (can play man and zone...and can tackle) with ball skills...and that was Blackmon. 

 

Tell is in the same mold...except he is a bit more athletic...so they wanted to put him at CB.

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Utah has been producing decent defensive players that translate to the NFL lately. He reminds me of Polian draft picks, IMO, more of a football player than an athlete with a high RAS score. Hopefully he gives us several more productive games and years. 

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6 hours ago, Jared Cisneros said:

Yep. Blackmon played in Utah and Leonard played in South Carolina State, so two completely different regions. I believe Ballard said that on "with the next pick" about the coaching loving Blackmon. I thought it was early to draft him because of the ACL tear, but he ended up playing week 2 and playing well. Ballard may of hit the bullseye with this pick. Right when Hooker goes down, Blackmon steps up. Thank god for great depth and a GM that knows how to draft.

 

One thing I like about Ballard is that he looks multiple years out in drafts and free agency.  I think when he didn't give Hooker his rookie extension he was 1) challenging Hooker to really ball out this year to earn an extension, and 2) saw someone he liked who he thought could take over at the FS position.  The fact he traded up for Blackmon, even though Blackmon had the ACL, leads me to believe he had his eyes on him as HOoker's potential replacement well before the draft.

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24 minutes ago, CurBeatElite said:

The fact he traded up for Blackmon, even though Blackmon had the ACL, leads me to believe he had his eyes on him as HOoker's potential replacement well before the draft.

Actually, Ballard traded back and still got his target player (Blackmon).

 

With the 85th-overall pick in the draft, the Colts selected First-Team All-Pac 12 safety Julian Blackmon.

Shortly before the pick, the Colts sent the 75th and 197th-overall picks to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the 85th, 149th and 182nd-overall picks, allowing them to still pickup their new chess piece in the secondary while also acquiring extra picks.

https://www.colts.com/news/julian-blackmon-2020-nfl-draft-safety-utah-conference-call

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1 hour ago, shasta519 said:

 

34 snaps in a game where the starting QB had the worst game of his career no less. The PD that led to the tipped INT was nice though...but that also was a YOLO throw into double coverage. 

 

PFF graded as a 67.8 for that game...which is a good start...but too early to label him as the real deal.

You're underselling Blackman on that play. He covered a ton of ground fast to get where he needed to be to make that play. Also don't forget to take PFF's grades  with a grain of salt. MAC had a great game but was he truly better than the games Kelce has played in the past 2 years? No, they can be pretty misleading especially when it comes to coverage because they never truly know the players assignment and role in the scheme for the entire game.

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5 minutes ago, twfish said:

You're underselling Blackman on that play. He covered a ton of ground fast to get where he needed to be to make that play. Also don't forget to take PFF's grades  with a grain of salt. MAC had a great game but was he truly better than the games Kelce has played in the past 2 years? No, they can be pretty misleading especially when it comes to coverage because they never truly know the players assignment and role in the scheme for the entire game.

To the bolded. Not really. We were in two high, and that was his half of the backend. And he really should have INT'd that himself. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, EastStreet said:

To the bolded. Not really. We were in two high, and that was his half of the backend. And he really should have INT'd that himself. 

 

 

That would be my bad i thought he was playing more centerfield for some reason.

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13 minutes ago, twfish said:

That would be my bad i thought he was playing more centerfield for some reason.

We don't play much single high with a centerfielder at all. That's what Hooker was good at.

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22 minutes ago, twfish said:

You're underselling Blackman on that play. He covered a ton of ground fast to get where he needed to be to make that play. Also don't forget to take PFF's grades  with a grain of salt. MAC had a great game but was he truly better than the games Kelce has played in the past 2 years? No, they can be pretty misleading especially when it comes to coverage because they never truly know the players assignment and role in the scheme for the entire game.

 

I typically don't look at PFF grades for skill positions...because there are so many other stats out there that we can use to measure those types of players.

 

But I do agree that PFF is directional data by nature. It's just one piece of data...much like Blackmon being credited with a PD on the tip play.

 

And I don't mean to downplay the Blackmon play. We can say that was a good play...but also acknowledge that it's a play we see NFL Ss typically make...especially if they are playing in a deep Cover 2. And for all we know...that play was scouted and Blackmon's assignment was to get over to double the go route.

 

If Blackmon had came down with the ball...that would have made it an awesome play. But for me...it was really just an ill-advised throw by Cousins...one of many poor passes on the day. Thielen was never open...and I bet if we can see the All 22 tape...Blackmon is already halfway to that play before Cousins throws...which would have made it double coverage. Not to mention the ball hung in the air forever...it actually traveled further than the end of half hail mary that TJ Carrie snagged. 

 

Great play...but I do think it's an overreaction to say Blackmon is the real deal because of one play. He's going to get the chance now to show it though.

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

To the bolded. Not really. We were in two high, and that was his half of the backend. And he really should have INT'd that himself. 

 

 

 

Agree. Since we are talking about this play...I think he should have had it too. He just jumped a bit too early...which allowed Thielen to be able to get his hand on the ball. Fortunately...it tipped right to Willis and he was able to snag it.

 

It was one of those punt/bomb plays on 3rd and long. I think Cousins was either super frustrated at that point or was looking to create some momentum for his dead * team. 

 

Cousins had a Will Grier type game. This game reminded me a lot of the CAR game from late last year. Really hard to know what to make of it...especially when it was just one week after the JAC game.

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3 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

Agree. Since we are talking about this play...I think he should have had it too. He just jumped a bit too early...which allowed Thielen to be able to get his hand on the ball. Fortunately...it tipped right to Willis and he was able to snag it.

 

It was one of those punt/bomb plays on 3rd and long. I think Cousins was either super frustrated at that point or was looking to create some momentum for his dead * team. 

 

Cousins had a Will Grier type game. This game reminded me a lot of the CAR game from late last year. Really hard to know what to make of it...especially when it was just one week after the JAC game.

Yea, that was a desperate heave lol. I've never seen him play so bad. His OL wasn't helping him. Not having Diggs is probably weighing on him too. 

 

On the bolded, it's pretty clear to me the difference from W1 to W2. I still think W1 was more a bad game plan on both sides of the ball. This week was a lot better. I don't like either week though in terms of balance. 

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Just now, EastStreet said:

Yea, that was a desperate heave lol. I've never seen him play so bad. His OL wasn't helping him. Not having Diggs is probably weighing on him too. 

 

On the bolded, it's pretty clear to me the difference from W1 to W2. I still think W1 was more a bad game plan on both sides of the ball. This week was a lot better. I don't like either week though in terms of balance. 

 

That is a pass that typically goes to Diggs...though he will throw deep to Thielen on occasion. I really like some of the individual talent in that receiving core (Thielen, Jefferson, Irv Smith)...but outside of Thielen on that 1st drive...they were invisible...and Cousins was just lost. 

 

Reich said that game is the blueprint for this season. I am not sure how you can duplicate it though.

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4 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

That is a pass that typically goes to Diggs...though he will throw deep to Thielen on occasion. I really like some of the individual talent in that receiving core (Thielen, Jefferson, Irv Smith)...but outside of Thielen on that 1st drive...they were invisible...and Cousins was just lost. 

 

Reich said that game is the blueprint for this season. I am not sure how you can duplicate it though.

Jefferson will be good in time. Just need a little patience IMO. Just stinks they couldn't have had Diggs and Jefferson for at least one year while Jefferson was getting his legs. Jury still out on Smith. 

 

In terms of being a blueprint, I liked some things about he game plan, but not others. I'll take the result though.

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On 9/23/2020 at 11:20 AM, Dogg63 said:

Actually, Ballard traded back and still got his target player (Blackmon).

 

With the 85th-overall pick in the draft, the Colts selected First-Team All-Pac 12 safety Julian Blackmon.

Shortly before the pick, the Colts sent the 75th and 197th-overall picks to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the 85th, 149th and 182nd-overall picks, allowing them to still pickup their new chess piece in the secondary while also acquiring extra picks.

https://www.colts.com/news/julian-blackmon-2020-nfl-draft-safety-utah-conference-call

Polian did that to get Bob Sanders.  Awesome!

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I remember watching tape on Blackmon shortly after the Colts drafted him. I was intrigued by what I saw from him and could see why Chris Ballard wanted him in Indianapolis. Blackmon plays very fast and always seems to be around the ball making plays both in coverage and as a tackler. Unlike Malik Hooker who is a one dimensional player, Blackmon is a more all around player who won't hesitate to take your head off.

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Blackmon won me over when he refused to let that a Viking ball carrier jump over his head. It was like he was sending the message...”No...We are having no more of that nonsense...not this week and definitely not on my watch!” My man did not suit up to be put on anyone’s poster. 

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6 hours ago, Coltsman1788 said:

Blackmon won me over when he refused to let that a Viking ball carrier jump over his head. It was like he was sending the message...”No...We are having no more of that nonsense...not this week and definitely not on my watch!” My man did not suit up to be put on anyone’s poster. 

That was the moment I noticed that he was on the field. I was like "IS THAT 32!?!"

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Ballard and Reich must have a ton of confidence in Blackmon if they have him starting today after missing nearly the entire off-season and playing in his first game since last December last week. I really hope he has a solid game today. I'm a big fan of the kid.

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58 minutes ago, Coltpwr said:

Didn’t see the game, how did Blackmon do yesterday? 

posted the below to the same question in another thread

 

He started.  

 

Of the Safeties

Willis - 57 snaps/89% of available

Blackmon - 41/64%

Tavon Wilson - 23/36% 

Odom - 7/11%

 

Of the CBs

Carrie - 54/84%

Moore - 53/83%

Rhodes - 53/83%

Rodgers - 11/17%

Tremon Smit - 7/11%

 

Tavon looked very good. IMO, and outplayed Blackmon at least from a stats perspective.

Tavon had a PD, 4 solo Ts, and 2 TFLs.

Blackmon, in more snaps had one solo T.

 

Could have just been opportunity, but at minimum, Wilson embraced the opportunity presented him.

I love Blackmon as a long term prospect, but folks got a little over hyped over last game. Give him time though.

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6 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

posted the below to the same question in another thread

 

He started.  

 

Of the Safeties

Willis - 57 snaps/89% of available

Blackmon - 41/64%

Tavon Wilson - 23/36% 

Odom - 7/11%

 

Of the CBs

Carrie - 54/84%

Moore - 53/83%

Rhodes - 53/83%

Rodgers - 11/17%

Tremon Smit - 7/11%

 

Tavon looked very good. IMO, and outplayed Blackmon at least from a stats perspective.

Tavon had a PD, 4 solo Ts, and 2 TFLs.

Blackmon, in more snaps had one solo T.

 

Could have just been opportunity, but at minimum, Wilson embraced the opportunity presented him.

I love Blackmon as a long term prospect, but folks got a little over hyped over last game. Give him time though.

I haven't followed every move. how did we acquire Smith?  Is he a rookie UDFA or a vet that was buried on another teams depth chart?

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18 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

posted the below to the same question in another thread

 

He started.  

 

Of the Safeties

Willis - 57 snaps/89% of available

Blackmon - 41/64%

Tavon Wilson - 23/36% 

Odom - 7/11%

 

Of the CBs

Carrie - 54/84%

Moore - 53/83%

Rhodes - 53/83%

Rodgers - 11/17%

Tremon Smit - 7/11%

 

Tavon looked very good. IMO, and outplayed Blackmon at least from a stats perspective.

Tavon had a PD, 4 solo Ts, and 2 TFLs.

Blackmon, in more snaps had one solo T.

 

Could have just been opportunity, but at minimum, Wilson embraced the opportunity presented him.

I love Blackmon as a long term prospect, but folks got a little over hyped over last game. Give him time though.

 

Tavon did look to play well but he no doubt did have more opportunity . 

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14 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I haven't followed every move. how did we acquire Smith?  Is he a rookie UDFA or a vet that was buried on another teams depth chart?

The quick history on him is that he's bounced around since being drafted in 2018. Waived by Chiefs, then Packers, then Eagles. Picked up in August by the Colts.

 

Not all that high on him. Of the newbies, Wilson is the most interesting prospect to me.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, dw49 said:

 

Tavon did look to play well but he no doubt did have more opportunity . 

That's kind of the thing though. He played half the snaps, so half the snap opportunity. Not really a great way to determine the opportunity he had in terms of teams passing or running at him. When the advanced stats come out, might be able to glean some factoids. 

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