Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Goodbye, Troy Williamson

"Jackson rolls out... he's got a man wide open, it's Williamson! And... he DROPS IT!! Incomplete!" - Sam Rosen, FOX Sports, during the Minnesota/Denver game on 12/30/07

Even before Sunday's loss to Denver, I was thinking of writing an obituary for Troy Williamson's career in a Vikings uniform. But after the game, it seemed too cruel. What an agonizing way to go. And come on, you know he's gone... and for his sake, I hope he is.

I was prepared to do a comparison of Williamson to a ton of other young wide receivers to prove how most wideouts begin to come into their own in their 3rd year in the league. I was going to talk about guys taken in the same draft class as him like Braylon Edwards and Roddy White and even Matt Jones, and how they're starting to emerge. Edwards is even going to the Pro Bowl.

But I don't even have to bother doing that now. Everybody saw the game on Sunday, everybody saw the awful AWFUL drop of that wide-open deep pass down the left sideline, everybody saw the 3rd-and-5 pass bounce off his chest that would have been a sure first down. To rub it in further wouldn't be too fair. I mean, his whole Vikings career hasn't exactly been fair from the start.

Williamson was the 7th overall player taken in the 2005 NFL draft, a few months after the Vikings had traded the amazing Randy Moss. It was a dumb idea to pick Williamson in the first place, and not because many thought they should've taken Mike Williams. (Surprise! Both guys suck!) While anybody that would've been taken with this draft pick would have bore the stigma of being considered, what the Vikings believed at the time, to be adequate compensation for one of the best wide receivers in NFL history, it was dumb to actually pick a LITERAL REPLACEMENT for him. How is that fair to Williamson? He's supposed to have a chance in hell with all that pressure immediately placed on him? Why didn't they just slap the number 84 on him while they were at it? Granted, they did need a playmaking wide receiver, but chalk this one up as a victory to drafting the best player available over drafting for need. But I digress.

Unfortunately for him, all that pressure seemed to manifest itself after that first key drop last year against San Francisco. He seemed to have major confidence issues after that, leading for him to get his eyes checked (!) and everything. Uh, shouldn't management at the time have evaluated that before drafting him?

So I bid to Troy Williamson good luck, wherever he ends up. He deserves it, after the hell he's had to go through here. And I would think more people would throw him a bone, but uh... well... you know...

No comments: