Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Is Dwayne Jarrett Paying For Mike Williams Or For Receivers In General?

GMs may tell you that elite receivers are a dime a dozen, and they likely are. But how does that explain the slide down the board of Dwayne Jarrett to the second round, when he was clearly tagged as first-round talent? The L.A. Times is claiming a bad performance against Razorback corner Chris Houston (picked four slots before him) and the spectre of Mike Williams haunted his status.

Jarrett had a lot of people saying he should have stayed at Southern Cal, including Keyshawn Johnson, serving as an ESPN analyst, and the man Jarrett wound up making expendable, and Pete Carroll is now using Jarrett and fellow receiver Steve Smith (the one now with the Giants), along with some other first rounders, as examples of staying until you're certain you're a first rounder.

Eric over at Seal Clubbers wonders if all the apparent de-valuing of wideouts has to do more with a slimming gap of talent between the elite tier and everyone else, or that certain teams know how to evaluate WR talent and others don't. A lot of teams are inherently conservative, and the regular style of throwing deep in the NFL, while it hasn't gone by the wayside, is kind of on the decline, in part to minimize mistakes by the quarterback that would lead to interceptions. WR success in the NFL is just as tough to measure as QB success; Calvin Johnson is the only WR in the past few years that everyone agreed was can't miss. And his thought is pretty spot-on; as I would apply it to Jarrett -- Dwayne fell because the talent levels are closer for WRs now, not that people really associated him with Mike Williams. Williams tried to come out after his sophomore season, following Maurice Clarett's challenge of the NFL's draft rules -- let's not forget Jarrett had one more year under his belt of college ball than Williams did.

Is the Randy Moss trade another sign of that? No. I don't think the Moss trade happened because the Patriots placed his value correctly to their team, necessarily. I think it also had to have something to do with Moss being willing to renegotiate his contract for the team -- tons of teams were in line for Randy, but he had to be willing to knock millions off his salary next year. The Patriots have enough chips in their corner when it comes to Super Bowls to entice elite players to take less money.

(Photo: AP/Rick Havner)


Pacifist Viking said...

And I root for the one team that has no WRs whatsoever (unless drafting 3 WRs changes that). Only the Titans have a sorrier WR group than the Vikes.

Signal to Noise said...

Hey, like you said, PV -- get Minny's front office to show Keyshawn the money.

Larry Brown said...

It's pretty crappy that Jarrett has to pay for Williams sucking. But in general, I think teams are realizing that WR's aren't too valuable as a whole. You need to have a line give time for the QB who needs to be good enough to get the ball to the receiver. I just don't think they impact the game as much as other positions on offense.