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Plot thickens at wide receiver


The logjam at wide receiver seems to grow larger with each practice.

Late-spring flurries by Troy Williamson (pictured) and Mike Walker have thickened the plot. Williamson turned in another impressive practice on Tuesday, while Walker made two diving catches in a spirited team drill to end practice.

"He had a couple of nice catches. As he builds himself into shape, he'll only get better. He caught the ball well, which I think he'll always do," wide receivers coach Todd Monken said of Walker.

Last year's third-round draft choice worked out for the first time this spring last week. He also participated in two of this past weekend's four mini-camp practices and Walker's surgically-repaired knee has been sound throughout. Monken said there have been no reports of swelling in the knee.

"How many plays in a row can he go? He's probably a tad bit heavy," Monken said of Walker, who will be one of the most watched players in training camp. Everyone will be watching to see if Walker's knee can hold up to the daily practice regimen.

Other than for Jerry Porter, Walker is the closest thing the Jaguars have to a number one receiver. He has all the tools and natural instincts to be a star receiver. Whether or not Walker reaches that level will probably be determined by the knee that has dogged him since his junior year in college.

As the Jaguars head into the final two practice days of the spring season, Monken surveyed the competition at wide receiver.

Prior to sustaining a hamstring injury a couple of weeks ago, Porter had clearly established himself as the Jaguars' number one receiver. He is a player of skill and experience and quarterback David Garrard quickly identified Porter as the go-to guy.

Reggie Williams has further entrenched himself as the team's number two receiver. Williams turned in another impressive practice on Tuesday and was praised by Monken.

"Reggie's improved. I think he's matured. I think he's more receptive to coaching. I think he's understanding concepts," Monken said of Williams.

What Dennis Northcutt lacks in the way of size he makes up for in movement. Northcutt has been quick and elusive throughout OTAs and he's caught the ball without fail. He's set to be the Jaguars' number three, slot receiver this year, which is the role for which he was signed in free agency a year ago.

Williamson, for whom the Jaguars traded with Minnesota to acquire, has shown no signs of the drops that dogged his time with the Vikings. Williamson has slowly improved as the OTAs have worn on and he'll likely go into training camp as a favorite to make the final roster.

"He's doing everything we thought he would. We knew he was fluid. We knew he could run and was receptive to coaching. When he's had opportunities to make plays, he's made them. He has not dropped a ball," Monken said of Williamson.

Matt Jones has had his moments this spring, but he's been dogged by soft-tissue injuries that have cut his practice time.

"When Matt's been healthy, I think he's made tremendous strides. I think he's made more contested catches; the possibility of getting hit. I've been excited to see Matt compete," Monken said of Jones.

D'Juan Woods and John Broussard are two other serious contenders. Woods has been especially steady this spring and on Tuesday he beat rookie speedster Brian Witherspoon deep, though Woods was unable to hold onto the ball.

"(Woods) has put himself into position to compete. Has he done enough yet? Of course not. Both (Woods and Broussard) want to be good. They're both highly competitive. John proved that last year. He'll compete and he has natural ball skills," Monken said.

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