Jack Del Rio stopped short of proclaiming Jerry Porter the Jaguars' number one receiver, but Del Rio's comments to the media on Friday afternoon made it sound as though Porter has the inside track to becoming the Jaguars' top target.
"I'm very excited about adding Jerry. I think he's an outstanding football player. Really, he was the guy that; there were a couple of guys we thought we would take an opportunity at in free agency and he was at the top of the list for us," Del Rio said of Porter, who signed a rich free-agent contract with the Jaguars on Friday, the opening day of the free agency period.
"I really think it was a great fit for us. He's an explosive player. He's had some big years. We think his best football is still ahead of him and we're very excited to have him," Del Rio added of a player who gives the Jaguars a proven speed receiver, something the team has lacked since Jimmy Smith's retirement.
The Jaguars announced the acquisition of another speed receiver earlier on Friday. Troy Williamson was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a sixth-round pick.
"We're giving Troy a chance. I met with him this morning and talked about the opportunity for him to come down here and just rejuvenate himself, have fun and don't worry about the high expectations that were associated with his selection in (Minnesota). Just come down here and join our football team and have fun competing every day and work with (wide receivers coach) Todd Monken and the offensive staff and work on improving his game and see where it goes," Del Rio said.
Clearly, the Jaguars were intent on improving their speed at wide receiver. They allowed their leading receiver from last season, Ernest Wilford, to enter unrestricted free agency on Friday, largely because Wilford lacked the speed the Jaguars want at the position.
"You take everything into consideration but this is a guy who runs really well, has great hands, has some polish," Del Rio said of Porter, who's labored on a Raiders offense that has been quarterback-deprived in recent years.
"He's worked at wide receiver for a while now and we feel like with some of the one-on-one matchups we create with our running game that we'll have some opportunities to really utilize a talented guy like this," Del Rio added.
The acquisitions of Porter and Williamson have obviously created a logjam at the position. Competition at wide receiver will include the two newcomers, former first-round draft choices Reggie Williams and Matt Jones, veteran Dennis Northcutt and last year's draft picks, Mike Walker and John Broussard, both of whom finished the season on injured reserve.
"It's very competitive. We added two guys; one guy that we know is a really fine player at that position. We add another guy who has a lot of potential with a lot of speed and add them to a group that was competitive last year. I love Ernest (Wilford). I wish him nothing but the best. I'm sure he'll land on his feet somewhere and do a nice job wherever he ends up, but for us going forward, (it was) an opportunity to add some talent, add some depth and be aggressive in making this position competitive and making it a strength for us," Del Rio said.
The Jaguars head coach also told reporters the team had agreed in principle with free-agent quarterback Cleo Lemon. Jaguars.com expects to provide a story this evening confirming the signing of Lemon to a contract.