For 2012 NFL Mock Draft experts, a clarification about the St. Louis Rams' history of wide receivers, with an eye toward Justin Blackmon. Which is to say: It's not that the Rams have never had a good receiver for Sam Bradford—they've just never been able to keep one around. The canonical examples are Danario Alexander and Brandon Lloyd—one perennially injured, the other the one-hit star of a lame-duck offensive coordinator.
When Alexander was at his best, the offense looked much different from the slow-motion, stammering thing Bradford's led his first two years with the team. In 2010 Alexander had three games with at least 70 yards receiving; in 2011, despite all the issues, he added two more, while staying significantly healthier. His Week 2 performance against the New York Giants, the peak of McDaniels-ball, is the best example; in a game that saw Bradford go 22-for-46 for 331 yards against a briefly shell-shocked Giants defense, Alexander caught three balls for 122 yards and a touchdown. (Of course, even Mike Sims-Walker performed that night.)
That's the kind of thing the Rams will be expecting out of Justin Blackmon in his rookie season, minus the injuries—intermittent brilliance, with some (hopefully more metaphorical) pains in between. If he can do a good Danario Alexander impression, he'll find a major role immediately.
More NFL Mock Draft 2012 analysis from SB Nation St. Louis:
- Justin Blackmon will have to produce early if the Rams put this kind of pressure on him.
- Trent Richardson is probably more reliable than Justin Blackmon. But what does reliable mean?
- Could Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III switch places? Depending on who you believe—well, maybe.