Jacksonville Jaguars' "Mr. Irrelevant": 7th Round Tiquan Underwood To Surprise

Nick UvaContributor IMay 17, 2009

The 2009 NFL Draft was ripe with Wide Receiver talent and Rutgers' Kenny Britt was projected and taken in the first round by the Tennessee Titans. 

But what about that other Rutgers guy? All the hype of Kenny Britt overshadowed another receiver who flew just as high during their 2007 campaign.

Tiquan Underwood (6'1", 178lbs.) caught 65 passes for 1,100 yards but took a backseat statistically in 2008 collecting only 40 catches for 494 yards last fall. The Jaguars recognized this talent and used their final pick of the 2009 draft to select Underwood with the 253rd overall pick of the draft.

“He’s a fast receiver, a guy we were talking about much earlier in the day. He’ll be fighting for an opportunity to make the team,” Jack Del Rio quoted to the Times Union.

Underwood brings legit 4.3 speed to the Jaguars roster.  Underwood's Scouting Combine 40-yard dash time (4.41) ranked seventh overall among receivers and was only a hair behind Arizona’s Mike Thomas (4.40) who was selected in the fourth round by Del Rio and crew.

Yet, leading up to kickoff weekend all eyes will be on Mike Thomas and other fellow draftee Jarett Dillard of Rice who the Jag's scooped up in round five.

All three Draftees share one impressive little distinction; they were the top three in the vertical jump at the 2009 Combine in Indy. 

Underwood finished in the top three in all Combine assessments with the exception of one major issue:  Ti finished dead last among all receivers and second to last among all Combine attendees in the bench press, putting up 225lbs only seven times.

David Buehler, a placekicker from USC had 25 reps and he won't be asked to block defensive backs downfield on running plays.

Fortunately—speed, which Ti has, can't be taught but strength can be improved upon in the offseason.

Some questions for Underwood to answer would be:

Q: You were drafted 253rd overall in the seventh round, three spots away from the "Mr. Irrelevant" distinction, a Lowsman Trophy, and a parade in Newport Beach, CA. Two years ago you were projected to be a first rounder.  What are your thoughts?

Q: You are battling against 11 receivers. Holt, Northcutt, & Williamson have the first three spots locked up. Fellow draftees Thomas & Dillard are sure to make the active roster and third year Mike Walker out of UCF impressed last year before injury ended his run. 

Provided the Jags keep six wide receivers on their roster what are you going to do to fight for that remaining spot?

Q:  You have great speed, good hands, decent ball awareness, but your strength is a major concern.  What are you, the Jaguars training staff, & nutritionists doing to add some mass and strength without compromising your speed?

Q:  At the college level you were not just a Captain but a team leader and a contributor to the Jersey community. The Jags, especially the WR corp, have lacked the leadership and character them team desperately needed.

Are you a future Walter Payton award recipient or future Matt Jones?  What will your involvement be in the local North Florida Community?

Q:  Who did you look up to and aspire to be like in the NFL?  If you had to pick one person to compare yourself to, which wide receiver are you most like in the NFL?

Questions to be answered on and off the field.  Best of Luck to fellow Jersey Boy and new Jacksonville Jaguars member Tiquan Underwood.

(NFL Correspondent Network Article Submission - Uva - 1)


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