JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The upcoming NFL draft will be the 20th in Jacksonville Jaguars history, not counting the expansion draft.
To commemorate that milestone, I’m looking back at each draft and giving you the best and worst selections in each round. Monday is the second round and the first round will appear on Tuesday, April 15 -- appropriate since that’s the day taxes are due and first-rounders make the most money.
These rankings are based on what the player did with the Jaguars. If they failed to produce with the Jaguars but had success somewhere else -- whether they left as free agents, were cut and caught on somewhere else, or traded -- that’s a negative.
I’m expecting some disagreement, which is fine. Your feedback is welcomed (click the email link at the bottom), and I’m going to post some of the best comments (read: those without profanity) on April 16.
Here we go …
Maurice Jones-Drew showed up in Jacksonville after the Jaguars took him with the 60th overall pick in 2006 with a chip on his shoulder and used that to become one of the greatest players in franchise history.
He is second on the team’s all-time rushing list (8,071 yards), powered by a three-year stretch in which he ran for 4,321 yards. That included a franchise-record and NFL-leading 1,606 yards in 2011. Jones-Drew also holds Jaguars' records for rushing touchdowns (68) and total touchdowns (81).
Jones-Drew supplemented his play on the field with a huge smile and an enjoyment for the game that spilled over into his touchdown celebrations -- some of which drew criticism from opponents. But he also felt slighted at not being a first-round selection and he wore No. 32 as a reminder that every team passed on him before the Jaguars finally selected him with the 28th pick in the second round.
DE Tony Brackens (1996) is the Jaguars’ all-time sack leader (55) and also holds the top two single-season sack performances: 12 in 1999 and 11 in 2001. He recorded at least one sack in eight consecutive games during the 2001 season. No other player in team history has done that in more than four games in a row.
C Brad Meester (2000) finished his career last December as the longest-tenured Jaguar (14 seasons) and holds franchise records for games played (209). games started (209). He had separate streaks in which he started 92 and 90 consecutive games, the two longest such streaks in team history.
CB Rashean Mathis (2003) holds team records for interceptions (30), interceptions in a season (eight), and interceptions returned for a touchdown (three).
LB Daryl Smith (2004) is the Jaguars’ all-time tackles leader (1,089).
The Jaguars tried to beef up their pass rush in 2008 by selecting Derrick Harvey in the first round and Quentin Groves in the second. Groves recorded 2.5 sacks as a rookie, but then went four more years before getting another. Groves played two seasons in Jacksonville, two in Oakland, one in Arizona and last season in Cleveland. He has 8.5 sacks and 111 tackles in his six seasons, including 2.5 sacks and 30 tackles in his two seasons in Jacksonville.
C Michael Cheever (1996) was on pace to be one of the league’s better offensive linemen after he made the All-Rookie team after the Jaguars took him with the 60th overall pick, but a back injury ended his career. Cheever had surgery to repair two bulging discs in his lower back in December 1997 and never played again.
CB Cordell Taylor (1998) played mainly on special teams as a rookie. He was cut and appeared in two games for Seattle in 1999.