It has to be a great joy of any NFL quarterback who happens to be a father is being able to throw footballs to your son, whether it's in the backyard or the practice field. Emory's father, Jeff, got to experience that pleasure while spending 14 seasons in the NFL (21,711 passing yards, 134 TD), most notably with the Cincinnati Bengals. While Jeff was known for his beautiful arching deep throws, his son is respected by scouts as having the size and strider's speed to run underneath those sorts of passes -- putting those childhood pitch-catch sessions and football talks to good use.
A well-regarded recruit from Austin's Stephen F. Austin High School (64-936, nine TD as a senior), Blake decided to join head coach Gene Chizik at Auburn for the 2009 season. He played 11 games as a true freshman, with one start, making nine catches for 66 yards. In the team's BCS title season, Blake's role increased; he played in every game, starting six, leading the team with eight touchdown receptions (his 33 catches went for 554 yards on the season). As a junior, he played in 11 games, starting eight, but struggled through a mid-season ankle injury. His 36 catches and 613 receiving yards still led the team, however, and his five touchdowns ranked second to tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen. In his senior year, Blake caught 50 passes for 789 yards and three touchdowns despite playing in a sub-par passing offense.
At Auburn's pro day, Blake ran the 40 in 4.61 and 4.62 seconds, had a 36 1/2 vertical and 10-0 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.42 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.01 seconds.
Solid receiver with the length and strider's speed to play outside at the next level. Also lines up in the slot to get mismatches downfield. Used on a variety of crossers and vertical routes, and has enough quickness after the catch to be used on hitches and quick screens. Shows flexibility to avoid cornerbacks in zone to get into his route, as well as adjust to and bring in high, wide and low passes. Tightropes the sideline, keeps his balance to stay in-bounds for additional yardage after a catch. Can extend for deep balls over his shoulder to bring them in.
Average size, speed and strength for an outside receiver. Does not get off better press coverage easily with his hands and his ability to secure the ball will also be challenged by pro defenders. Deep speed, burst to the ball, and his level of elusiveness after the catch are not good enough to scare NFL cornerbacks. Will body-catch instead of snatching the ball with his hands, and has the occasional drop even in situations where he is not being challenged. Must prove himself strong enough to handle run-blocking responsibilities.
Blake has been a primary target on a poor passing offense. Blake has a solid, but unspectacular overall skillset. Blake needs to improve his blocking and special teams play in order to secure a roster spot at the next level.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.