In early 2005, the committee that puts a grade on where underclassmen should be selected in the draft gave Williamson a second-round grade. Even so, Canter encouraged Williamson to leave the University of South Carolina early. Williamson not only showed up at the Combine ready to go, he ran faster than anyone could have expected...a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash and the rest is history. Williamson wound up being selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh pick overall in the first round.
Which brings us to another receiver, University of Florida's Chad Jackson.
What's interesting in his case was Jackson declared for the draft even before the committee sent him the letter which would give him the grade....a fourth-round pick.
When Canter spoke to various teams in the league, he didn't exactly get ringing endorsement of his client.
"They actually said, 'you mean the (Dallas) Baker kid'."
Still, that didn't deter Jackson or Canter and Jackson has continued to train for the Combine.
Whether it was Jackson's trainer who Canter said felt Jackson is "TO (Terrell Owens) with speed" or just a great belief that Jackson was a great talent, Canter felt Jackson was ready for the next level of competition. And much like with Williamson last year, the opportunity was there for the taking. Other than Ohio St. wide receiver Santonio Holmes, many around the league felt before the Combine that he was the only sure-fire first round pick at the position.
That was then, this is now.
Jackson caused a major stir inside the media room at the Combine on Sunday when he ran an official time of 4.32 which is coincidentally the same time Williamson ran last year. What's interesting is Jackson actually slipped a little on his best run of the two according to Canter.
Canter confirmed that Jackson only dropped one ball in pass catch drills and he anticipates Jackson won't run at his pro day next month. Canter is so confident that Jackson's 40-time was so good that he's moved in to the upper half of the draft.
"He won't be there when the Miami Dolphins pick (No.16 overall)."
If Canter's right, Jackson will be his second straight mover up draft boards at the wide receiver position.
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