Monday, June 4, 2012
Around the NFC West: Blackmon's DUI
By Mike Sando
Analysts widely projected Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon to the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Blackmon instead, and that is looking like a good thing for St. Louis after authorities in Oklahoma charged the rookie with aggravated DUI.
If Blackmon indeed registered a .24 percent blood-alcohol level, as reported, a reasonable person can look at his 2010 DUI arrest and fear a problem more serious than a simple (but serious) lapse in judgment from a 22-year-old.
A man weighing as much as Blackmon (207 pounds) might have to consume 16 beers over a three-hour period to approach a .24 percent blood-alcohol reading. Consuming 24 beers -- a full case -- over an 11-hour period could produce a similar result, according to one online calculator. Other calculators produce slightly different results depending on a range of factors. A calculator provided by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education at the University of Notre Dame says 14 shots of 80-proof liquor over a two-hour period could produce a .24 percent reading in a 207-pound man.
Those are not the sort of stats a team wants associated with its first-round draft choice (or anyone, for that matter).
Of course, Blackmon has only been arrested, not convicted. It's possible the .24 percentage reading was made in error. For now, however, the Rams should feel better about their decisions to trade down in the first round, leaving Blackmon for the Jaguars.
And now, our regular spin around the division ...
Matthew Hathaway of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers details on the Rams' efforts to upgrade the Edward Jones Dome. Hathaway on the arbitration process, which will begin June 15 in the absence of an agreement between the team and city: "At the end of this process, the arbitrators must either endorse one of the existing renovation proposals or, more likely, develop a separate plan that the arbitrators believe will meet the first-tier requirement. After that happens, the CVC will have 60 days to decide its next move. It can agree to move forward with the plan backed by arbitrators or it can do nothing. If it picks the latter, the Rams could terminate the lease or continue at the Dome by re-upping on a year-to-year basis."
Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle says ESPN's Tim Hasselbeck thinks the Seahawks have the best secondary in the NFL. Henderson: "Hasselbeck said Kam Chancellor is better than Arizona's Adrian Wilson -- who's considered one of the top strong safeties in the league -- and predicted a breakout season for Earl Thomas, a Pro Bowl starter in 2011." Noted: Hasselbeck also sounds higher than most on veteran linebacker Barrett Ruud, who played with Hasselbeck's brother in Tennessee last season.
Also from Henderson: Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley warns against writing off injured cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle joins Mike Salk in looking at under-the-radar players who could shine for Seattle this season. Guard Deuce Lutui is one of them, Huard notes. Safety Jeron Johnson is another.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic looks at how the Cardinals' quarterback competition could help the team. Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "Over the past two weeks I've seen improvement from both guys. That goes to show you how valuable the offseason is. It's not just the OTAs (organized team activities), but the weeks before that, when they're working on their footwork, working on their drops, talking about their reads. In the NFL, it's all about being able to process [information], play fast, make accurate throws and manage the offense. Both of them have shown they can do it. What we're looking for is consistency. If we get that, we feel very good about this football team."
Monte Poole of Bay Area News Group says Michael Crabtree's improved health could be a big factor for the 49ers' receiver this season. Poole: "Crabtree pauses and gazes toward his feet. His left foot has undergone two surgeries and is pain-free. He says it hasn't felt this good since he was a college freshman in 2007, when he caught 134 passes for 1,962 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Red Raiders. It's numbers like that that had people anticipating someone who could pick up the torch transferred from Jerry Rice to Terrell Owens but abandoned since T.O. left after the 2003 season."