OSU's Justin Blackmon, Brandon Weeden say they're unsure about NFL draft
BY MATT BAKER World Sports Writer
Monday, December 06, 2010
12/06/10 at 9:19 PM
STILLWATER - Oklahoma State stars Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden said they have not decided whether they’ll leave school early for the 2011 NFL draft or if they’ll be back on the Cowboy offense next fall.
“I haven’t thought about it at all,” Blackmon said. “That’s something I have to look forward to. Right now I’m just focusing on the Alamo Bowl and getting ready for the game.”
As a redshirt sophomore, Blackmon is eligible for the 2011 NFL draft and is projected as a first-round pick after recording one of the most prolific seasons in school history. The Big 12’s offensive player of the year leads the country in receiving yards per game (151.36) and touchdown catches (18) and ranks second in receptions (102).
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Blackmon as the 2011 NFL draft’s 13th-best prospect and the No. 3 receiver. On Thursday in Orlando, Fla., he’ll find out if he won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.
If Blackmon returns for his junior season and improves on beating man-to-man coverage and his route-running, OSU coach Mike Gundy said the receiver could become a top-five pick and secure a much larger first contract.
“My recommendation to him would be to come back and to prepare himself to be even a more highly regarded player when it comes to the NFL draft, and to be a part of the team,” Gundy said. “He’s got a long way to go. You can do that for the rest of your life. He’s still young. He can still mature and help himself, in my opinion.”
Blackmon said he doesn’t know how a possible NFL lockout would affect his decision. He also hasn’t made up his mind on what he’ll decide if scouts tell him he will be a first-round selection.
“We’re going to have to play it after the game,” Blackmon said. “If it happens, it happens. We’ll see.”
Weeden also became an NFL prospect after emerging as a first-team All-Big 12 quarterback and breaking every major single-season passing record in Cowboy history.
In October, he told the Tulsa World that unless a team offered him “Sam Bradford money … I'm going to be here. I love Oklahoma State.”
When asked about his future Monday, Weeden wasn’t so sure.
The 6-foot-4 junior said he will think about it after the season and evaluate it the same way he did when he decided to turn pro in baseball after high school in 2002 after the Yankees chose him in the second round.
“I understand the business side of it,” Weeden said. “I understand exactly what all goes into it. That’s why I couldn’t say one way or another because something good may happen for me, financial or whatever. There’s just a lot that goes into it.
“When the season is all said and done and it’s all over, I’ll sit back and think about it and weigh my options.”
It’s unclear how high Weeden’s stock rose after passing for 4,037 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. Kiper does not project Weeden among the top 25 picks.
Also on Monday, Blackmon addressed his health for the first time since injuring his left ankle against Kansas. He limped off of the field several times in a 47-41 loss to Oklahoma but still caught eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
He said his ankle “will be good soon.” He did not practice Monday and wore a cast and protective walking boot.
“If we wouldn’t have played him in the OU game, he probably would have been full speed now,” Gundy said. “That set him back two weeks.”
Gundy said Blackmon will likely have the cast for at least another week and that the Cowboys hope he returns for the last six or seven practices before the Alamo Bowl showdown with Arizona.
With at least eight receiving yards in the bowl game, Blackmon will pass former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald’s sophomore record of 1,672 receiving yards.
World Sports Writer Jimmie Tramel contributed to this report.
OSU's Justin Blackmon was named the Big 12's offensive player of the year. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World