When the Jaguars 2008 season ended, the team's best wide receivers were Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, and Jerry Porter. I honestly believe no team fielded a single worse unit in that season, including the 0-16 Lions With the Bengals releasing Matt Jones, it means that none of them have played in a regular season game since then.
In 2009, the Jaguars began to see a reemergence of the WR corps. Mike Sims-Walker had the best season any Jags WR has had in the post-Jimmy Smith era, while Mike Thomas began to show promise.
Now heading into 2010, can this unit finally put the memories of mediocrity to rest?
Mike Sims-Walker: Last year's big surprise for the Jaguars and fantasy football owners, the big question for MSW is can he put it together for 16 games. The disappearing acts have to stop. However, it was refreshing to see him back in the Miami game after the big hit he took vs Philly. There was a reason he earned himself the nickname Mike "I need a" Walker around here.
One thing that isn't being mentioned much is that this is a contract year for Sims-Walker as well. If he puts up the kind of numbers many are expecting, he'll have a chance to earn a big payday.
Mike Thomas: No one had a better training camp among the receivers. Thomas earned the right to be a starting WR, rather than simply being "the next best guy." Some are going to boo-hoo his height, but that hasn't stopped Wes Welker or Steve Smith.
Jarrett Dillard: Dillard was just starting to hit his stride when he went down with a season ending injury. It's clear that he's never going to be a burner in the NFL, so he's going to have to refine his ability to find the hole's in zone coverages. He has a great set of hands though, so he'll give the Jags a dependable #3 option.
Tiquan Underwood: This spring's UWL MVP has graduated from the practice squad to the 53 man roster. Now, can he start to deliver? He definetly has to work on his case of the dropsies, and I'm still not convinced he's physical enough to play consistently. But speed kills, so he's on the roster.
Kassim Osgood: Honestly, as much as I enjoy reading Kassim on twitter, Osgood is on the roster because he's one of the best special teamers in the league. Hopefully he'll make some plays in the passing game, he's an easy guy to root for. However, it's more likely most of his highlights this year will be making sure punts are downed inside the 5 and don't go into the end zone.
Overall, the current group of wideouts could be better, but it's light years away from the disaster it was in 2008. The two starters are certainly keepers and are easily the best tandem since the Thunder and Lightning Days. However, if either were to go down for any length of time, than things could go downhill rather quickly.
Still, at least our top wideouts next employer won't be the Toronto Argonauts or Hamilton Tiger-Cats.