Packers sign fourth-round draft pick Blackmon
Blackmon received a signing bonus of $433,500 and minimum base salaries for each of the four years of the contract. He can increase his base salary for 2009 through an "escalator" that is based on playing time and performance levels. Blackmon was the latter of the Packers' two selections in the fourth round and is the fourth of the team's league-high 12 picks in 2006 to come to contract terms.
The 107th prospect chosen overall, Blackmon had an unusual college career, playing cornerback for his first three seasons before switching to wide receiver as a senior. The Packers plan to use Blackmon at cornerback and feel that he can compete for the top nickel job as a rookie.
He did suffer a setback this spring when he sustained a foot injury that sidelined him for much of Green Bay's offseason program. But if he is healthy for the start of training camp, the staff expects Blackmon to vie for playing time in the secondary and perhaps contribute as a return man, too.
Blackmon has good size (6-feet-0 1/4, 198 pounds), has been clocked in the mid-4.4s in the 40, and seems to possess natural cover instincts.
On defense, where he started 22 games after playing in a reserve role as a freshman, Blackmon had 141 tackles, eight interceptions, 22 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two recoveries. In his senior season as wide receiver, he registered 51 catches for 763 yards and four touchdowns.
For his career, he returned 50 punts for a 10.1-yard average and one touchdown. He averaged 24.6 yards and scored one touchdown on 114 kickoff returns. Blackmon ranked in the top five players in NCAA history for kickoff return yards and the two-time all-conference performer finished his career with 3,995 all-purpose yards.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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