I'm seeing a lot of Wilford hate based mainly on his lack of speed and his draft pedigree. Reggie Williams was supposedly one of the top WR prospects in the same draft as Wilford, and his main drawback was said to be lack of speed as well. Fast forward a couple years, and Ernest Wilford is the guy who has stepped it up and start producing, pushing top10 pick Reggie Williams out of a job. Not only that, but from what I recall, Wilford was the best deep threat on that team not named Jimmy Smith!
Forget about who's supposed to do what and focus on who is DOING what. You can only give a highly rated guy so many chances before you go with the low-rated, better player. Wilford is the ugly stepson of the Jaguar's that no one wants to show any love, but the guy looks poised to EASILY be the #1 WR in 2006 now that Jimmy Smith is gone IMO.
I cannot believe all the Matt Jones love, the Reggie Williams hype, and all the negativity surrounding Ernest Wilford. To me, Wilford was the guy who took the huge step forward around midseason last year and stole the starting job away from Reggie Williams. That is huge considering the guy is a 2nd year, 4th round WR, and Reggie Williams is/was the guy that was drafted in the top10 to be Jimmy Smith's replacement.
Sure, Matt Jones developed quickly and added an important aspect to the offense, but outside of a few spectacular catches the guy was not a real regular contributor. For me, it all boils down to this: Matt Jones was the #3 WR last year and Wilford was the #2 WR. Do you want to gamble on the situational guy coming off his rookie season? The guy who is expected to jump from a role as the slot WR into goto WR for the team? Or do you want to take a chance on the more experienced third year WR, who steadily rose up the depth chart last year into a starting role, and who showed glimpses of being the #1 target last year.
Back on topic... Including Mercedes Lewis, a rookie TE, in a leading WR poll and omitting Wilford?