JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Rob Meier might be one of the most overlooked and underappreciated players in Jacksonville Jaguars history.
That is to be expected, though, because he played behind two of the franchise’s better defensive players.
Meier, the second of the Jaguars’ five seventh-round draft pick in 2000, was a defensive tackle in Jacksonville from 2000 to '08. For six of those seasons, he played with John Henderson and Marcus Stroud, who formed one of the best tackle tandems in the NFL during their prime.
Even so, Meier was a valuable piece of a defense that gave up more than 20 points per game in a season just twice from 2000-07.
"People around the league knew how strong he was at the point of attack," said Brian Sexton, the play-by-play announcer for the Jaguars for the franchise’s first 19 seasons and the team historian. "He was not a guy that was going to be able to what John and Marcus did, play in and play out. He was invaluable as a guy who could give you 20-25 snaps per game. You could ask him to do anything. He could rush the passer, or he could plug up the hole."
Meier recorded 21.5 sacks and 184 tackles while starting only 49 games in his nine seasons. Most of his starts were because of injuries or suspensions to Stroud or Henderson, but he started 15 games in 2008 because Stroud had been traded to the Buffalo Bills.
That’s not bad for a guy who drew little attention coming out of Washington State. Little attention in the NFL, that is. Meier was the No. 1 overall pick in the CFL draft that year.
"No one really had huge expectations for him in the NFL, and he was a beast,” Sexton said. “One of the strongest guys in the locker room. Any time you asked him to do something, he was solid. You didn’t see him make mistakes."
Danny Clark, LB, Illinois: Clark was the fourth of the Jaguars’ five seventh-round picks in 2000. He went on to play in 61 games (27 starts) with the Jaguars. He had 159 tackles, including 91 in 2002, when he started 16 games. Clark played for four other teams before his career ended in 2010.
Bobby McCray, LB, Florida: The Jaguars’ seventh-round pick in 2004 recorded 22.0 sacks in four seasons with the Jaguars before spending two seasons with New Orleans and one game with Philadelphia. McCray is one of only four Jaguars to record double-digit sacks in one season, and he did so most recently, with 10.0 in 2006.
Marlon McCree, S, Kentucky: He started 27 games in less than three seasons with the Jaguars, who drafted him with the second of their four seventh-round picks in 2001. McCree had seven interceptions, including six in 2002, and 14 pass breakups with the Jaguars. He was waived during the 2003 season and went on to play with four more teams before retiring after the 2008 season. He finished his career with 16 interceptions.