STRENGTHS - Blake looks the part of an NFL WR "on the hoof," as he has good height and an excellent build. He is an excellent route runner that clearly has a strong understanding of zone and route concepts. While working between the hashes he is consistently able to identify open zones and sit down to make himself an easy target for his QB, and against man coverage he creates separation with a variety of quick cuts and head fakes. He runs routes at full speed, which allows him to sell his defender on down-field routes and create space off double moves. He displays soft hands when plucking the ball away from his frame, and does a good job of using his body to shield the defender from the ball when working in traffic.
WEAKNESSES - Blake lacks explosiveness off the LOS and out of his breaks, and does not possess the long speed needed to stretch the field vertically. He does not use his hands well against press coverage, and struggles to gain separation when faced with aggressive, physical defenders. He also is not an aggressive blocker, as he doesn't consistently get his hands out quickly or work to keep his body between his man and the ball.
SUMMARY - At first glance its easy to dismiss Emory Blake as a one-speed player that lacks any elite physical skills, but extensive film study shows that he is a savvy possession receiver that is capable of being very productive working against zone coverages out of the slot. While he has just adequate build-up speed, he runs every route and shows the ability to make cuts at full speed, which helps him disguise his routes and keep defenders on their heels. He is at his best working inside, as he does an excellent job of adjusting his routes based on what the coverage dictates and coming back to the QB to make himself an easy target. He flashes the ability to pluck balls away from his frame, but also understand when to use his body to secure the ball in tight spaces, and uses his frame to make it difficult for breaking defenders to play the ball. Blake is never going to be an X receiver capable of consistently beating the jam or stretching the field vertically, but his football intelligence and size will help him become a dependable, durable receiver out of the slot.