- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Justin Blackmon will create his own identity.
But personnel jobs in all sports require a degree of comparison. Jacksonville Jaguars GM Gene Smith looks at Blackmon and sees a receiver who falls between Anquan Boldin of the Ravens and Hakeem Nicks of the Giants.
He’s a player who, along with free agent addition Laurent Robinson, can change the team’s offense and the way teams have to defend it, Smith told Jacksonville reporters.
“I think when you get a chance to win on the outside when you’re getting some single matchups because they stack the box in the inside, and even for your tight end when you can draw a safety away from the tight end it creates opportunities inside for you,” Smith said. “Not just in the running game but the inside passing game.
“So I think now we get an opportunity not only to win inside but outside and that’s when you become very difficult to defend; when you have a balanced offense with the ability to win inside and outside. I think that’s where we’re at and I know our offensive staff, with some of the receivers and (receivers coach) Jerry (Sullivan) here, we clearly feel we’ll take a large step towards a lot more play making in our offense.”
Beyond skills, Blackmon will bring attitude to the Jaguars.
“I like the way he lines up and says the guy across from me can’t cover me,” coach Mike Mularkey said. “He just has an edge to him. He has a confidence and air about him that you like receivers to have. I’ve been around receivers like that who have that and that right there gives you a chance to be able to make plays every time you line up and call his number.”