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. Today is the fifth 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...
This was an easy choice because kicker Josh Scobee is clearly the best player the Jaguars have drafted in the fifth round.
Scobee, taken with the 137th pick in 2004 out of Louisiana Tech, is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer (939 points and counting) and holds team career records for field goals (215) and field goal percentage (81.1) and his streak of 20 consecutive made field goals is tied with Mike Hollis for the franchise record.
Scobee has made four of the longest field goals in Jaguars history, including a 59-yarder to beat Indianapolis in 2010, and he has made 36 field goals from 50 or more yards.
Scobee, who turns 32 in June, has two years remaining on a four-year, $13.8 million contract he signed in July 2012.
G Uche Nwaneri (2007), who was released earlier this month, played 104 games (92 starts) for the Jaguars. He played in 16 games in five of his seven seasons, including the 2013 season in which he played every snap. He was part of an offensive line that helped Maurice Jones-Drew lead the NFL in rushing in 2011 with 1,606 yards.
CB Jason Craft (1999) played in 71 games (33 starts) and intercepted seven passes in five seasons with the Jaguars. Craft played 10 years in the NFL and finished his career with 14 interceptions, 42 pass breakups, and eight forced fumbles.
S Gerald Sensabaugh (2005) played in 50 games (24 starts) and intercepted six passes in four seasons with the Jaguars but had a little more success in four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (eight interceptions, 24 pass breakups). Sensabaugh started 60 of the 62 games he played for the Cowboys.
C John Wade (1998) played in 54 games (34 starts) in five seasons with the Jaguars before spending six more years in the NFL with Tampa Bay and Oakland. He appeared in 131 games (110 starts).
TE Damon Jones (1997) caught 41 passes for 550 yards and 11 touchdowns in five seasons with the Jaguars.
It’s still somewhat hard to criticize a fifth-round pick that didn’t make it, because teams are still looking for contributors -- not starters or Pro Bowlers -- in that round. But in the Jaguars’ case, there were two draft picks that stood out among all the others drafted between 1995-2011.
Punter David Leaverton (2001) and defensive back Trae Williams (2008) were the only players the Jaguars drafted in the fifth round that didn’t play in at least four NFL games in their careers. Leaverton and Williams never saw the field and Leaverton was the only player who never even made an NFL roster.
S Josh Gattis (2007) didn’t make the Jaguars’ roster but played in four games that season with Chicago.
CB Chris Thompson (2004) didn’t play in a game for the Jaguars as a rookie but played in 12 the following season for Chicago.
CB Rod Issac (2011) played in just three games with the Jaguars as a rookie.