NFL Nation: Troy Willliamson
The receiver was a big story last preseason but went on injured reserve Sept. 23 with a shoulder injury. While the team had purged the roster of a bunch of veterans of similar status, he survived. The Jaguars still loved his speed and thought he could be an effective piece of their offense.
If he can stay healthy, I won’t be surprised if he finds a role for himself on the 2010 Jaguars. A guy who can stretch the field will help Maurice Jones-Drew’s cause, and anyone who can do that is of value. Perhaps it would be ideal if Mike Thomas emerges as the team’s No. 2 receiver behind Mike Sims-Walker.
But the more options and the deeper the pool the better. At this reported cost, it’s a smart move to keep Williamson around.
There will be picks on Saturday and Sunday that prompt brows furrowed into question marks on the faces of fans of the four teams of the AFC South.
So in advance of this weekend's draft, the AFC South Blog is here to warn you: Don't be surprised when the Colts look to cornerback; don't be shocked when the Titans turn to a tight end and/or a defensive end. Should the Texans invest a reasonably high pick in a receiver or the Jaguars dip again in to the pool of defensive ends, they won't be making redundant roster choices.
They'll be thinking more about 2010 than about 2009.
We've discussed the current needs of all four teams a lot in the build-up to the draft. But teams obviously have to look further ahead than that. They can't count on the CBA expiring and the rules of free agency changing. Because if a new labor deal is struck and free agency continues to operate in the fashion we are used to -- with players who've logged at least four years and have expired contracts hitting the free market -- teams have to be prepared to lose people, and they need to have replacements ready.
Some of those potential replacements are already lined up, of course, working as backups. But others must be targeted.
"You're not just drafting for this year, you're drafting for future years too," Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said. "You have to have the vision of what they might be in two or three years. ... You're always building depth on your team and you're getting, especially in the later-round guys, traits that can be developed."
Here is a look at the issues teams may be facing in terms of departing free agents in 2010 with some suggestions, courtesy of Scouts. Inc.'s Matt Williamson, on mid- and late-round picks who could fill the holes.