Former Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Troy Williamson recently looked back on his career in the NFL and his time in purple.
16 years ago, on Friday, the Minnesota Vikings spent the No. 7 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft on former South Carolina wide receiver Troy Williamson.
For Williamson and the majority of players who have been selected in the draft, making the transition from college to the NFL is very difficult. Combine this difficulty with the pressure of being chosen to replace arguably the greatest wide receiver in the history of the league, and you’ve got a task that is basically impossible to complete.
This is pretty much what Williamson was presented with when he arrived in Minnesota in 2005 as a young, rookie wide receiver.
Troy Williamson reflects on his time with the Minnesota Vikings
For those who don’t know, Williamson’s tenure with the Vikings didn’t go too well. He ended up only lasting for three seasons in Minnesota and his production was nowhere near the expectations he was given as a rookie in 2005.
During a recent episode of the “Bleav in Vikings” podcast, Williamson took the opportunity to explain why things might not have worked out well during his time in the Twin Cities.
“Now that I look back, I can say that I wasn’t ready mentally to be drafted at No. 7. And then trying to come in to replace a guy like a Randy Moss, I knew I wasn’t ready mentally to be put in that position to put in the work that I needed to do to be able to do that. I didn’t know what it took to be able to take over that position.
I wanted to be drafted high, but I don’t know if I wanted to actually come in and try to replace a guy like Randy Moss. I wasn’t mentally ready to be put in that position.”
This is an extremely humbling take and props to Williamson for even being willing to talk about his experience with the Vikings.
Justin Jefferson was given the expectations to come in and replace Stefon Diggs last year, but that was nothing close to what Williamson was expected to do as a rookie in 2005.
By then, Randy Moss had already established himself as one of the best receivers to ever step foot on an NFL field. During the early 2000s, Moss was the first player that came to mind when most thought of the Vikings.
So in comes this 22-year-old receiver who has everyone all around town saying he better be able to replace Moss or he’s a bust. That’s an extreme amount of pressure for someone that young to deal with, and it clearly affected Williamson’s ability to perform on the field.
Perhaps his NFL career would have turned out differently if he didn’t get drafted by a team that needed a replacement for a legendary receiver. Unfortunately, Williamson was thrown into a situation that just made it too difficult to succeed at that point in his life.