|ESPN.com: NFL Draft 2005||[Print without images]|
|THE 2005 NFL DRAFT|
The Lions and Jaguars each needed cornerbacks. Detroit team president Matt Millen, picking at No. 10, missed out on the "big 3" cornerbacks, so he took wide receiver Mike Williams, the big, powerful receiver out of USC.The Jaguars went even further by skipping the next trio of cornerbacks available in the first round and taking Matt Jones, who is 6-foot-6, 240-pounds and can run a 4.3 40. Williams and Jones will continue a new trend in which teams are trying to find matchup problems in the middle of the field. With cornerbacks having to be "hands off," eight tight ends led their teams in receptions last year. Subsequently, the Lions and Jaguars are taking big players with tight end bodies who can run and intend to put them in the middle of the field. Defenses like to take small, quick corners and put them against slot receivers. That strategy might not work. Williams and Jones have the size to overpower them and enough speed to cause them more problems. "He'll come in as a receiver first," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said of Jones, who played quarterback at Arkansas, at his post-selection press conference Saturday. "He's big enough that someday he might go into a tight end, but we're not going to force him into a tight end position to start with. Whether he's playing in the slot or at wideout, he's going to be tough to deal with. He's going to make all the jump-ball plays." The strategy is the same for Williams in Detroit. Outsiders thought the Lions were crazy for using their third consecutive first selection overall at wide receiver. Having Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams on the same team might be considered overkill. Maybe it will be. However, since they didn't find a challenger to cornerback Fernando Bryant, who struggled during his first season, the Lions were tempted by the damage Mike Williams can cause as an inside receiver. "He's going to give you a mismatch against most corners even if they're on him," Lions offensive coordinator Ted Tollner told reporters. "He's going to have the body presence to make a play. He can be covered and still be uncovered because of his body presence and he's a very aggressive player at the ball. When the ball goes up, he will go make a play on it. You've seen some of the highlights -- he'll be covered and he comes down with the football." By no accident, the teams in the AFC South that compete against Jacksonville are preparing for the challenge. They are drafting more cornerbacks. The Colts drafted cornerbacks Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden and re-signed Nick Harper to go with existing cornerbacks Joseph Jefferson and Donald Strickland. Even though the Texans have Aaron Glenn and Dunta Robinson, they traded a No. 2 and a No. 3 for Phillip Buchanon. The Titans used the sixth pick in the draft on Pac-Man Jones.
|“||He's going to give you a mismatch against most corners even if they're on him.”|
|—Lions offensive coordinator Ted Tollner on WR Mike Williams|