There are a lot of people who will tell you that Justin Blackmon of the Jacksonville Jaguars takes a hard knock to his value on Draft day because he will start the season with a four-game suspension. However, if you take a closer look, there is some serious sleeper value there.
Last year his Rookie campaign got off to a slow start but he came on strong late. In the second half of the 2012 season he rang up 640 yards on 46 catches and five scores. If you ignore the four game suspension to start the 2013 season and project his eight game stats over a 16 game schedule, you would be looking at stat line around 1300 yards and 10 scores. Those are Roddy White type numbers! If a player with a better reputation was projected for that kind of stat line, you’d be happy to have him to fill in as your No. 2 Receiver.
Sure there are concerns here. The Jaguars Quarterback competition is underwhelming if only serviceable. The injuries to Maurice Jones-Drew might mean an unbalanced approach to the offense but Blackmon has a tremendous catch radius to beat out double coverage. As it stands most people will grab him as a last round flier or might just ignore him altogether.
The thing to really consider is that you never were going to draft Blackmon to be more than your bye week filler. So unless the injury bug bites your starting lineup the only teams that will see a bye before Blackmon is done serving his suspension are the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers. If you end up drafting a starter from one of those two teams you’ll probably want to look another direction.
All things considered, Blackmon is someone you can buy in the last couple rounds yet still see the same kind of production you might spend for a No. 3 Receiver in the sixth round.