As an undrafted rookie, wide receiver Saeed Blacknall has quite the battle ahead of him to make the team considering how overloaded the position is for the Oakland Raiders. One thing is for certain though, he has an excellent pirate name for a Raider if he were to make the team. If he can’t make Oakland’s team, perhaps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have an opening?
Height/weight: 6’2, 208
Pro Day results
40-yard dash: 4.37
Vertical Jump: 32.5
Broad jump: 10’07”
Bench Press: 24 reps
2017: 17 receptions, 289 yards 2 TD’s
2016: 15 receptions, 347 yards 3 TD’s
2015: 8 receptions, 248 yards 1 TD
2014: 10 receptions, 98 yards 1 TD
Blacknall is definitely a talented receiver, especially for one that went undrafted out of Penn State University. He has shown good hands when going up to get the awkward, higher thrown balls. He also shows the ability to push through press coverage and will break tackles if players don’t wrap him up well at the point of contact.
His 6’2, 208lb frame allows him to fight off smaller corners for jump balls and he was known in college for his big play ability. That ability is shown by his 23 yards per catch average in 2016 and whopping 31 yards per catch average (though only on 8 receptions) in 2015 before taking a step back as a senior catching just 17 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
Blacknall’s biggest strength is absolutely his speed/size combination though. His 4.37 time is a blazing 40-yard dash at any size but is especially impressive for a 6’2 player. He isn’t just speed either, his 24 bench press reps shows he has great strength too. Having 24 reps for the bench press is a number seen with linemen more often than receivers.
After showing such promise the two years before with those huge yards per catch season averages, only starting 5 out of 13 games in 2017 was a disappointment and cost Saeed Blacknall a shot at being drafted. He also had some off-field issues in 2016 when he was suspended for Penn State’s Rose bowl appearance for violating team rules.
It was an especially damaging suspension considering he had just had his biggest game of his career in the BIG10 Title game against Wisconsin for Penn St to get to the Rose Bowl that year. He caught 7 catches for 155 years and two touchdowns with one of those TD’s being a 70 yarder. As a WI Badger fan I can tell you, Blacknall was huge in that win for the Nittany Lions.
Other weaknesses that Saeed Blacknall shows is a limited route tree. He is slower at developing his routes and it seems as though he has to think through them too much rather than just naturally flowing within the route. He uses his body to make the catch too often which is commonly from him not tracking the ball in the air well enough to have his hands completely ready for the catch.
Fit with Raiders
Despite his overall lack of production in college, he is an intriguing prospect because of his size/speed combination and his ability to get separation deep as a big play threat. It would be surprising to see him crack the line up with the deep roster at receiver that the Raiders currently have but it should be interesting to see how Blacknall does in training camp. He has a good chance to end up on the Practice Squad for the Raiders if he doesn’t do well enough to make the team outright.