Jaguars All-Time Draft Team

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a relatively young team, and as such, their draft history doesn't have knockout victories at every turn. Andrew Goldberg takes a look at the most successful player the franchise at each position.

Along with Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew (pictured) was an elite running back drafted by the Jaguars.

Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars enter this year's draft in middle of a rebuilding effort under general manager Dave Caldwell and second-year head coach Gus Bradley.

They have done a pretty good job in the draft until the last couple of seasons. Building teams that made the playoffs in four of its first five seasons, twice making it to the AFC Championship Game.

Some draft picks such as Fred Taylor and Tony Boselli made the team competitive in the early years of its franchise. As the Jaguars look to end a playoff drought that stretches back to 2008 and reach the playing level of the mid-1990s, here is a look at the best players that were drafted at each position in the team's history.

QUARTERBACK

David Garrard, East Carolina (2002, fourth round, 108th overall)

Garrard served primarily as a backup early on, playing in only 10 games his first three seasons. After filling in for the oft-injured Byron Leftwich in each of the next couple of seasons, he took over the reins full time in 2007.

In his first season as a starter, Garrard helped lead the Jaguars to an 11-5 record despite only playing in 12 games because of injury. That year, he completed 64 percent of his passes and throwing for 2,509 yards and 18 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Garrard threw for 16,003 yards, 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions during his nine years with the Jaguars. He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2009.

 

 

RUNNING BACK

Maurice Jones-Drew, UCLA (2006, second round, 60th overall)

Jones-Drew was a versatile running back coming out of UCLA, as much of a threat in the passing game as he was in the running game. In eight seasons with the Jaguars, he rushed for 8,071 yards and 68 touchdowns. He also caught 335 passes for 2,873 yards and 11 touchdowns as well. Additionally, he returned a kickoff for a touchdown in each of his first two seasons.

Fred Taylor, Florida (1998, first round, ninth overall)

While battling injuries in his first four seasonsL, Taylor managed to rush for over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns twice.

For the remainder of his career, though, he was one of the league's most productive running backs. He rushed for 1,000-plus yards in five of the next six seasons and only missed nine games over that time span.

In his 11 years with the Jaguars, Taylor rushed for 11,271 yards and scored 62 touchdowns while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also caught 286 passes for 2,361 yards and eight more touchdowns.

FULLBACK

Daimon Shelton, Sacramento State (1997, sixth round, 184th overall)

After not seeing much time in his rookie season, Shelton became the team's primary fullback, starting 26 games and opening up holes for Fred Taylor. During his four years in Jacksonville, Shelton caught 26 passes for 214 yards and rushed for 104 yards and one touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVER

Reggie Williams, Washington (2008, first round, ninth overall)

This pick speaks more about how poorly the Jaguars have drafted at the position than him being a great player in Jacksonville. Despite catching a combined 183 passes for 2,563 yards and 19 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons in college, Williams was anything but the electrifying playmaker in the pros. After posting ordinary numbers in his first three seasons, there was a glimmer of hope that he was starting to turn the corner as he caught 10 touchdown passes in 2007.

However, he caught 37 passes for 364 yards the next season and was off the team the year after. In five seasons with the Jaguars, he totaled 189 receptions for 2,322 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Matt Jones, Arkansas (2005, first round, 21st overall)

The former Arkansas quarterback impressed everyone at the combine with his athleticism. Jones ran a 4.39 40-yard dash and had a vertical jump of 39.5 inches. Add that to his 6-6, 242-pound frame, and he was an enticing prospect.

In four seasons with the Jaguars, Jones caught 166 passes for 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns. His career ended shortly thereafter, as off-the-field troubles caught up to him.

TIGHT END

Marcedes Lewis, UCLA (2006, first round, 28th overall)

The Jaguars used their first-round pick on Lewis in the hopes that he would become a big target in the middle of the field. Lewis started slowly and made gradual steps forward until he reached his first and only Pro Bowl in 2010. That year, he caught 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. Lewis remains with the team heading into 2014 and hopes that the emergence of a quarterback will improve his numbers.

In eight seasons, he has caught 297 passes for 3,583 yards and 25 touchdowns.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Tony Boselli, USC, (1995, first round, second overall)

Boselli was the Jaguars first ever selection, and what a pick it was. Boselli was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro selection. He protected quarterback Mark Brunell and was equally adept at opening up running lanes for James Stewart and then Fred Taylor.

If it weren't for shoulder injuries, Boselli may have been looking at a Hall of Fame career. However, his career ended after only seven years in the league, all with the Jaguars.

Maurice Williams, Michigan (2001, second round, 43rd overall)

Williams spent his entire nine-year career with the Jaguars. He was an instant starter at right tackle, starting 16 games his rookie season. After missing 11 games the next season, he did not miss a game for the next four seasons. He made 100 starts during his career until injuries caught up to him.

OFFENSIVE GUARD

Uche Nwaneri, Purdue (2007, fifth round, 149th overall)

Nwaneri was nothing more than a reserve in his rookie season. However, entering his second season, Nwaneri proved to be valuable, starting 15 of 16 games.

Nwaneri would lock down the guard spot for the next five years. In seven seasons, Nwaneri played in 104 games, making 92 starts. He remains a free agent as of now, after being released by the Jaguars.

Vince Manuwai, Hawaii (2003, third round, 72nd overall)

Manuwai started 14 games his rookie year and only missed one game. For seven of the next eight years, he started in 90 games, all at left guard, and was a key cog on the line.

CENTER

Brad Meester, Northern Iowa (2000, second round, 60th overall)

Coming from a small school, the recently retired Meester commanded the offensive line immediately. He started every game for the Jaguars for the first five seasons of his career. In total, he started 209 games at center for the Jaguars and missed only 15 games until this 2013, when he missed 12.

Meester was incredibly durable and spent his entire 14-year career in Jacksonville.

DEFENSIVE END

Tony Brackens, Texas (1996, second round, 33rd overall)

Brackens was highly productive in his eight seasons with the Jaguars. He had seven sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception in his rookie season. He became the starter two seasons later and his best football came in the seasons thereafter. From 1998-2001, he had 34 sacks, three interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. In 1999 he made his first and only Pro Bowl.

For his career, Brackens had 55 sacks, five interceptions, 27 forced fumbles and 13 fumble recoveries.

Rob Meier, Washington State (2000, seventh round, 241st overall)

Meier didn't produce much in his first two seasons in the league, but he started to see more playing time as time went on. He started 49 games in the next seven seasons while missing six games in that same span.

In total, he spent nine seasons with the Jaguars, recording 21.5 sacks, forcing three fumbles and having more than 150 tackles.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

John Henderson, Tennessee (2002, first round, ninth overall)

Henderson was a mountain of a man. Standing at 6-7 and 328 pounds, opposing lineman had difficulty pushing him around the line of scrimmage. Henderson was an instant impact player for the Jaguars, recording 6.5 sacks his rookie year in 13 starts.

He maded two Pro Bowls and contributed both in the rush and pass defense. In eight seasons with the Jaguars, he started made 120 starts and accumulated 29 sacks, 38 passes defended, eight forced fumbles and more than 300 tackles.

He paired with Marcus Stroud to create one of the best defensive tackle tandems in the NFL for several years.

Marcus Stroud, Georgia (2001, first round, 13th overall)

Stroud didn't play much as a rookie, but he started to fulfill his potential following the 2001 season. After the Jaguars added Henderson, the duo combined to become one of the best defensive tackle units in the league.

Stroud started every game for four straight seasons on the way to three straight Pro Bowl appearances from 2003-05. In seven years with the Jaguars, Stroud started 84 games and had 22 sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 216 tackles.

LINEBACKER

Daryl Smith, Georgia Tech (2004, second round, 39th overall)

Smith proved himself to be one of the most versatile linebackers on the team, playing on the inside as the middle linebacker as well as filling in on the right and left sides. He was incredibly durable, starting 122 games until the 2012 season, when he missed 14 games.

In nine years with the franchise, Smith accumulated nearly 600 tackles, 21.5 sacks, six interceptions and 39 passes defended. While he was never a Pro Bowler or All-Pro, he was a key starter for the better part of a decade.

Kevin Hardy, Illinois (1996, first round, second overall)

As expected from a No. 2 overall pick, Hardy started immediately. He was entrenched at the right linebacker position for three of his first four years and excelled. His best season came in 1999, when he had 98 tackles, 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was rewarded with his first and only Pro Bowl appearance as well as his only All-Pro selection.

He played six seasons in Jacksonville, where he recorded 506 tackles, 28.5 sacks, five interceptions, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.

Akin Ayodele, Purdue (2002, third round, 89th overall)

Ayodele spent four seasons with the Jaguars and proved to be a solid starter. Ayodele appeared in every game during his four seasons and started 46 games. After starting only three games his rookie year, Ayodele became a starter at both the left and right outside linebacker positions. He finished his Jaguar career with 349 tackles, 8.5 sacks, three interceptions, eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

CORNERBACK

Rashean Mathis, Bethune-Cookman (2003, second round, 39th overall)

Mathis' first four seasons with the team were his most productive, as he recorded 20 of his 30 career interceptions during that time. His best season was 2006, when he picked off eight passes on his way to his first and only Pro Bowl appearance. He was named All-Pro that season as well.

Mathis spent 10 seasons with the Jaguars, starting 129 games, intercepting 30 passes, posting 567 tackles, one sack, six forced fumbles, and recovering five fumbles as well.

Aaron Beasley, West Virginia (1996, third round, 63rd overall)

Beasley spent seven seasons as the team's primary starter, first on the left side and then moving to the right side of the field. After playing in 18 total games his first two seasons, he missed six games over the next four seasons. During his six years in Jacksonville, Beasley played in 76 games and intercepted 15 passes. He forced 10 fumbles and recovered three fumbles as well.

SAFETY

Donovin Darius, Syracuse (1998, first round, 25th overall)

Darius was an immediate contributor in 1998 and proved to be an intimidating presence on the defense. He started and played in 103 games as the starter at strong safety in his first seven years. In 115 career games for the Jaguars, he recorded 606 tackles, intercepted 14 passes, forced seven fumbles and recovered six fumbles.

Reggie Nelson, Florida (2007, first round, 21st overall)

Nelson had a short but effective career with the Jaguars. He became an immediate starter on the defense and had a great rookie year. He had 60 tackles, five interceptions, one sack and two forced fumbles. He spent just two more seasons with the Jaguars before moving on to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010.