The Jacksonville Jaguars first-round pick saw the inside of an Oklahoma jail before his first snap in the NFL. Rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested on aggravated DUI charges in Payne County, Oklahoma.
Blackmon's current felony DUI arrest comes on the heels of his previous DUI just some 19 months ago.
In 2010, Blackmon was arrest for DUI in Carrollton, Texas after attending a Dallas Cowboys game. After that arrest, Blackmon issued the following statement: "I'm embarrassed to be in this position. I look forward to redeeming myself and proving to everybody that this isn't who I am. I'm not this guy. I'm humbled by this experience and I will grow from it."
After his first offense, and his statement, Blackmon was given the benefit of the doubt. In fact, Jags brass didn't even interview Blackmon prior to drafting him with the No. 5 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.
But now it's time to evaluate Blackmon as a person, even if the Jags refuse.
Being convicted of a DUI offense relates directly to a person's character. It's an entirely selfish offense and one that is easily avoidable. By a person getting in their vehicle and driving after drinking—and in Blackmon's most recent arrest, his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit—that person's ability to put others before themselves is lacking.
And Blackmon choosing to do this selfish act on at least two occasions, driving drunk is something that he feels is acceptable. At the very least, his statement—that he's looking forward to "proving to everybody that this isn't who [he] is"—has been debunked. This is who he is. He's given us the evidence.
Blackmon cares about Blackmon and not the individuals who he passed on the street as he drifted left of center, going 60 in a 35-mph zone. He most certainly didn't concern himself with the Jaguars and his responsibility as a teammate to the other players.
What this means for the Jags
Now that Blackmon has been drafted into the NFL, he is subject to the league's substance abuse policy. That means that Blackmon faces a possible suspension, among other discipline. And because Blackmon has a prior alcohol-related incident, suspension is likely. The league's recent modus operandi is not to punish players for pre-draft conduct, but a player's prior conduct will be taken into consideration in dolling out the discipline for the post-draft infraction.
All that to say the Jags will be without the services of their first-round pick for probably two games to open the season.
The Oklahoma DUI laws may require additional time away from the field.
In Oklahoma, if a person has a prior DUI within 10 years, the current DUI can be charged as a felony. A conviction for a felony DUI in Oklahoma carries a minimum one-year prison sentence. Of course, that sentence can be suspended (think: not served).
If the Oklahoma judge decides Blackmon needs to be sent to prison, then the Jags will need to start eyeing up the wide receiver crop in the 2013 NFL Draft now.
The Jags ranked dead last in passing yards after the 2011 season. Drafting Blackmon gave the Jags, and most importantly Blaine Gabbert, something to look forward to on passing downs.
Now that Blackmon has proven that this is who he is, the Jags and Gabbert can slip back into the caboose of the passing league and rely solely upon running back Maurice Jones-Drew's legs to begin the fight for last-place in the AFC South.