(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
It is being reported by numerous sources, including Scout.com NFL Expert Adam Caplan, that the Jaguars have struck a deal with the Minnesota Vikings sending a conditional sixth-round pick to Minnesota for wide receiver Troy Williamson. Here is what we have been able to gather:
Williamson is a former first-round pick by the Vikings (seventh overall) who hasn't yet lived up to his top 10 draft status.
Williamson is a 6'1", 203 lb. wide receiver who was clocked in the high 4.2's, low 4.3's coming out of college. Getting open has never been a problem for Troy, as he routinely streaks past secondaries, but his hands have been what has kept his career from taking off. Williamson has routinely dropped passes in each of his first three seasons in the NFL. In three years playing with a very poor passing attack that has had an average ranking of 23rd in the league, Williamson has caught 79 passes for 1067 yards, with three touchdowns. To find out the inside scoop on what the Jaguars are getting in Williamson, JagNation asked Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter to give his scouting report on the speedy wide receiver, and here's what he had to say--
"Williamson does have speed to burn, and that's exactly what rocketed him up the Vikings' draft board during the 2005 NFL Scouting Combine. Prior to that, many expected him to be a late first-round or even second-round pick. However, his Combine performance had the Vikings looking at him to replace Randy Moss, who they traded to the Oakland Raiders at the beginning of
My take on the deal: It certainly seems like a low risk, possible high reward type of maneuver by the Jaguars. Williamson is just 24 years old, and his problems with catching the forward pass appear to be more mental than physical, and perhaps expectations were just too high for him in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
"Williamson has never looked very comfortable in his role, dropping numerous passes on what should be considered easily catchable throws. He has seemed to get better at his route-running the last couple of years and creating separation, but the dropped passes have held him out of staying a full-time starter. He has had some balls that he was trying to locate bounce off his
helmet. The Vikings sent him to the Nike Vision Institute in Oregon this past offseason to try to rectify the vision or coordination issues. He worked very hard at getting better, but the sporadic drops continued. However, during the whole process, he showed a great deal of class by
answering repeated questions about the process, his confidence and his emotions."
"A change of scenery, especially being closer to his Mirimar residence, should be good for him. A reunion with Mike Tice, who was the head coach at the time Williamson was selected, could also help him."
The Jaguars are giving up what is likely a sixth-round pick for a player who was deemed as a top10 talent just three years ago. If Williamson can finally figure out how to catch the ball, the Jaguars found the deep threat that the offense has been missing for years. If not, a sixth-round pick likely wouldn't make the final 53-man roster anyway, so it isn't a great loss.
As far as contract concerns, Williamson is due $910,000 in 2008, and approximately $1.4 million in 2009, the final year of his deal. Both salaries are moderate figures, especially considering what the team paid just a year ago for another questionable handed receiver in Dennis Northcutt (4yrs./$17.5M).
This move likely signifies the end of the line for Jaguars free agent wide receiver Ernest Wilford, at least in Jacksonville. Wilford is 29 years old, and many NFL experts believe that he has reached the peak of his potential.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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