Taylor Jacobs: Pleasantly Surprised

There was a pre-draft parade of big-name receivers coming through Redskins Park and then there were rumors of a big trade up to land a big WR. But the Redskins didn't select a receiver in the draft, a developent that pleased third-year receiver Taylor Jacobs.

Taylor Jacobs had the same thought many Redskins fans did during the draft, especially when Mike Williams remained available. They're going to pick a reciever, Jacobs figured.

And when they didn't, he had another thought. ''I guess they really are looking forward to a big year from me,'' he said.

Guess so indeed. One reason the Redskins didn't draft a receiver this past weekend is their confidence in Jacobs, who is entering his third season. They like his route-running and his work ethic: Jacobs routinely stays after practice to watch film or work on moves. Many times last season he'd stay on the field to work with the corners, and talk with Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot about techniques. They'd share tips with him about what bothers a corner, or what works against them.

But Jacobs hasn't exactly lived up to being a second-round pick. In his first two seasons he's caught a combined 19 passes, one for a touchdown. Injuries and other factors have played a role. Which is why the Redskins say now could be his time.

''Taylor Jacobs has just as much speed as [Santana Moss and David Patten],'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ''We think he'll blossom into a heck of a player.''

They've told that to Jacobs, whose one downfall almost seems to be a lack of confidence. Now he believes them.

''I admit I was surprised when they [didn't draft a receiver],'' he said. ''But it shows they really are satisfied where we are at receiver. Sometimes you hear people say they're looking forward to you having a big year. Sometimes you don't know how deep that comment really goes. But Coach Gibbs says that to me. Coach [Stan] Hixon says that to me. . . . It's good to see they have more confidence in us.''

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