After the Jacksonville Jaguars wrapped up the OTA portion of their offseason, first-round draft pick Justin Blackmon was arrested for a DUI. When the team reassembled for this week's mandatory minicamp, veteran receiver Laurent Robinson pulled Blackmon aside to offer some advice.
"Just tell him, 'You gotta grow up,' " Robinson said, according to a report by Tania Ganguli of The Florida Times-Union on Wednesday. "You know, NFL players are targets, you gotta stay low-key, low-profile and you know, just, everybody makes mistakes and you know heâs gotta learn from it and just keep doing better."
Blackmon should listen to Robinson, who has experienced highs and lows while riding the NFL roller-coaster the last five seasons.
A third-round pick out of Illinois State by the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, Robinson caught 37 passes in 15 games as a rookie, but a hamstring injury limited him to just six games in 2008. Traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2009, Robinson was poised to have a breakout season -- he had 13 receptions in two-plus games -- before he was placed on injured reserve with a broken fibula. Robinson caught 34 balls for the Rams in 2010, but the team did not attempt to bring him back after last year's lockout.
Signed by the San Diego Chargers last summer, Robinson failed to crack the 53-man roster and was released, then joined the Dallas Cowboys. Robinson took advantage of injuries to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant to establish career highs with 54 receptions for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns, numbers he parlayed into a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Jaguars.
Robinson believes the DUI will give Blackmon extra motivation.
"Playing with a little chip on his shoulder," Robinson said of the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. "Little mad about the whole situation. He's going to be a pro. We're going to help him out along the way and he'll be fine."