JagNation Training Camp Preview: WR
Matt Jones (Jake Roth/JagNation.ccom)
JagNation.com
Posted Jul 20, 2007


In the 2006 season, the Jaguars wide receiver play was a microcosm for the Jaguars season, good to great one week, below average to poor the next week. Most of the Jaguars current group of wide receivers have been home grown. JagNation outlines the receiver situation NOW:

Reggie Williams and Matt Jones were first round picks (2004, 2005), and Ernest Wilford was a fourth round pick (2004). This group has shown flashes of greatness early in their careers, and also showed the ability to be non-existent at times. The Jaguars front office saw the need for improvement at the position and brought in Dennis Northcutt via free agency, as well as the selections of Mike Walker and John Broussard in April's draft.

Reggie Williams
Reggie Williams is a former ninth overall selection by the Jaguars in '04, and a lot of the small things that Reggie does well, such as blocking, get overlooked by his lack of production in his first three seasons. Reggie Williams may be the toughest wide receiver in the NFL. Reggie is a fantastic blocker and has no fear of going over the middle. Reggie has the ability to break tackles and make plays, and has the some of the best hands on the team. In the first five games of the '06 season (before Leftwich's injury), Reggie had 24 receptions for 297 yards and four touchdowns. With Garrard playing the bulk of the snaps for the rest of the season, Williams ended up with just 28 more receptions for 319 yards and zero touchdowns in the season's final 11 games. Reggie has physical abilities that are as good as anyone in the NFL.

Strengths:
Fearless, great blocker from the wide receiver position, fast, solid hands.

Weaknesses:
Needs to improve route running, doesn't get open quickly, doesn't adjust well to the football when it's in air.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
If Leftwich stays healthy, Williams could have a breakout season with 70-80 catches, 1200 yards, and 8-10 TD's, he's that talented. Worst case scenario is that Williams could also get lost in the crowd of Jaguars receivers, and plays his last season in Jacksonville.


Matt Jones
Matt Jones is another former first round draft pick by the Jaguars who hasn't played up to his draft status at this point. In limited starting opportunities, Matt Jones has shown an ability to be a play-maker in his short career. Jones has nine career touchdown receptions in just five starts over two years. Matt has game-breaking speed in the open field and his 6'6 , 240 lb. frame gives him the ability to get in position to make catches.

Strengths:
Jones has great size, solid hands, great open field speed, and is a fantastic red-zone target.

Weaknesses:
Jones is a very poor route runner, and his advertised 4.38/40 speed doesn't translate to the football field. Jones appears to be afraid of contact, and lacks passion for the game of football.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
If Jones can stay healthy and gain a little more hunger and courage, he can be a fantastic possession receiver for the Jaguars. Jones is still a great jump ball threat, and can make highlight film plays assuming that there aren't any defenders in sight. Worst case scenario is that Jones stays nicked up, as he did for most of '06, and may not be on the final roster.


Ernest Wilford
Ernest Wilford is a former fourth round pick by the Jaguars who had over-achieved in his first two seasons, before taking a step back in '06. Wilford tends to have a flare for the dramatic, as he has 11 touchdowns in his young career, and he can catch the ball in traffic.

Strengths:
Ernest Wilford adjusts to the ball in air very well. He's not afraid of contact, and can lull defenses to sleep and make some big plays.

Weaknesses:
Wilford is slow, and has had a big problem with drops. Wilford doesn't get open quickly

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Wilford can be a solid possession receiver in'06 as well as a nice red zone target. Worst case scenario for Wilford is that he doesn't progress at all from last season and he doesn't make the final 53-man roster.


Dennis Northcutt
Dennis Northcutt was acquired by the Jaguars via free agency to give the team an extra dimension of quickness and suddenness, amongst the very tall wide receivers that the Jaguars have on their roster. Northcutt is a legitimate deep threat who has never played with anything resembling a good quarterback prior to this year. Northcutt will likely also handle the punt return duties.

Strengths:
Legitimate deep threat, one of the games better punt return men, runs great routes

Weaknesses:
Size, has troubles with the jam at the line of scrimmage. Hands are questionable.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Northcutt can be the missing ingredient in the Jaguars passing game, a good, fast slot receiver who can get open quickly. A solid season for Northcutt could be 40-50 catches, 600 yards, and 6 TD's. Worst case scenario could be that Northcutt isn't as good as advertised and has a 30 catch season.


Mike Walker
Mike Walker was the Jaguars third round pick from the University of Central Florida. Although Walker tore his ACL in December of 2005, and all he did after surgery was catch 90 balls in an offense at UCF that struggled mightily. Walker is probably not yet at full strength, but still ran a 4.35/40 yard dash at the combine.

Strengths:
Dynamically productive in college, strong hands, breakaway speed, very accomplished route runner.

Weaknesses:
Health questions from a torn ACL injury, he doesn't get off the line of scrimmage as fast as many would like.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Mike Walker could be the Jaguars best receiver. He's has all the tools to eventually be a number one guy. The worst case scenario would be that Walker suffers some kind of injury that derails his year. Not much should be expected from rookie receivers.


Charles Sharon
Charles Sharon is in his second year from Bowling Green University, and he spent most of last season on the Jaguars practice squad before be placed on the active roster late in the year. Sharon has had off the field issues, but has impressed many in mini-camps.

Strengths:
Decent size, solid route runner. Sharon has good hands, and has an ability to make circus catches.

Weaknesses:
Sharon has some off the field issues which can cause some to question his character. Although Sharon has looked good in non-contact drills, he has a grand total of zero NFL receptions.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Sharon's best case scenario is that he not only makes the final 53-man roster, but he is a significant contributor in the Jaguars offense. His worst case scenario is that he is a different player with pads on and he finds himself off the final 53.


John Broussard
The Jaguars selected John Broussard in the seventh round of April's draft mostly due to his game-breaking speed and good hands. Broussard has an ability to separate from defenders when the ball is in air, and he runs good routes. Broussard has kick return abilities and had 18 plays of 40 yards or more in his collegiate career.

Strengths:
Speed, solid hands, can be a special teams contributer.

Weaknesses:
Size, will have trouble beating jams at the line of scrimmage. Not overly productive in college, question marks about the level of competition he's faced.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Broussard's best case scenario is that he makes the final roster due to his electric speed, and becomes a solid slot receiver. Worst case scenario is that there is too much competition for him in camp and he becomes a candidate for the practice squad.


D'Juan Woods
Woods was signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent rookie. Woods was a complete receiver at Oklahoma State, who wasn't afraid to block downfield, or go over the middle. Woods has solid size, at 6'1", 207, and can play special teams or do whatever he has to, to make a roster.

Strengths:
Fearless, can block downfield. Solid hands, special teams contributor.

Weaknesses:
Woods wasn't a super productive collegiate and although he does everything fairly well, he isn't great at any individual skill.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Woods is a longshot to make the Jaguars roster at wide receiver, but if he excels at special teams, anything can happen. The Jaguars have signed undrafted free agents to the final roster in each season of the Del Rio regime. Worst case scenario is that Woods doesn't make an impact and finds himself looking into another line of work when the summer ends.


Jimmy Farris
The Jaguars signed veteran wide receiver Jimmy Farris a few weeks after the draft, back in May.

Strengths:
Has NFL experience, can be a special teams contributor. Solid hands, good route-runner.

Weaknesses:
Doesn't do anything extra special to stand out. No outstanding speed, nothing that concerns defenses.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Farris must play huge on special teams to make the Jaguars roster. He is 29 years old and knows how tough it is to make an NFL roster, so he will give 100% during every opportunity. Worst case scenario is that the Jaguars go with someone younger, and the name Jimmy Farris becomes an afterthought.


Roosevelt Kiser
Roosevelt Kiser is a small, productive wide receiver from small school Florida A & M. Kiser was a two-time All Conference selection, and was a solid kick returner as well as a great wide receiver. Kiser was signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent rookie.

Strengths:
Speedy and productive in college. Kiser can return kicks and cover in special teams.

Weaknesses:
Size is a major concern (5'9 , 160 lbs.), the level of competition he faced in college was low.

Best case/Worst case scenarios:
Kiser will need to make a special teams impact to make the Jaguars roster, but never say never. The team has a list on undrafted guys that collected NFL paychecks last year- Wimbush, McDaniel, Collier, etc. Kiser's worst case scenario is that he is a camp casualty.


The Jaguars wide receiver positions should be one of the most hotly contested positions in all of training camp. There is finally a nice collection of talent which include speed receivers, possession guys, rookies, veterans, and guys in the final year of their deals. The Jaguars coaching staff has said repeatedly that "no one is safe", and that could very well ring true. Our guess is that Dennis Northcutt and Mike Walker have roster spots locked up (100%), followed by Reggie Williams (90%), then Matt Jones (85%). It is unclear whether or not the team will carry the customary five or even six wide receivers. Ernest Wilford has goodwill built up with the organization, but John Broussard's speed may be too much to overcome. Charles Sharon impressed many people in mini-camp and could be a player for a roster spot.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to various national news outlets. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association.



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WR John Broussard (profile)
WR Jimmy Farris (profile)
WR Matt Jones (profile)
WR Roosevelt Kiser (profile)
WR Dennis Northcutt (profile)
WR Charles Sharon (profile)
WR Mike Walker (profile)
WR Ernest Wilford (profile)
WR Reggie Williams (profile)
WR D'Juan Woods (profile)
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