While stopping by the National Football Post this morning I spotted a headline that said "Jags drop two." I immediately thought – "Jacksonville must have cut Troy Williamson."
It turns out they hadn't. But the headline got me thinking more about Williamson, the seventh overall pick in 2005 draft and the guy who was going to replace Randy Moss. Here is what a Florida Times-Union story had to say about the offseason Williamson is having with the Jaguars on Wednesday.
Jaguars WR Troy Williamson is doing well this offseason, especially at the recent OTA workout. "Troy's done well," coach Jack Del Rio said. "He's done a nice job of competing." If Williamson keeps making plays, he can put himself in the mix for a WR job at a position that became more competitive when the Jaguars signed free agent Torry Holt and drafted three rookie wide receivers. The Jaguars obtained Williamson, the seventh player chosen in the 2005 draft by Minnesota, in a trade last year for a sixth-round pick. Noted for his speed, Williamson caught only 79 passes in three years with the Vikings and gained a reputation for dropping passes. Williamson was hampered by thigh and groin injuries in his first year with the Jaguars. He appeared in only eight games, started two and caught only five passes, although he had a 69-yard play called back by penalty. "I think the key is for Troy to keep himself healthy so that he can have a chance to display his skill and his athleticism. He should be able to get some things done if he can stay on the football field for us," Del Rio said.
This all sounds very familiar. During the 2007 offseason, Williamson also appeared to be doing "well." He had sought out a Nike vision specialist to correct some sort of eyesight problem, he was catching 1,000 balls a day or whatever the number was, he was about to turn the corner. Then during the 2008 offseason, after being traded to Jacksonville, Williamson was also doing "well." He was with a new team, working hard and was away from Brad Childress, a coach he'd grown to despise.
But in the past three seasons Troy Williamson has gone from 37 catches (a career high), to 18 catches, to just five catches. He just turned 26, so anything is possible, but he appears to be a guy already on the downside of his career. This could be his last chance to save that NFL career.
Whatever happens this season in Jacksonville, Williamson will go down, along with players like Dimitrius Underwood and D.J. Dozier – as one of the Vikings greatest draft busts.
In general, the Vikings have done pretty well with their number one picks over the past two decades. But when they whiff, they whiff big.
And with a hat tip to the Daily Norseman, check out this very funny fake story on the Vikings quarterback situation. Great stuff.