A relatively young franchise which joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars have had the privilege of fielding some all-time greats in down south in Florida. The Jaguars have been home to a handful of legends that have been key in Jacksonville’s young but rather interesting history in the league. Here’s five of the best Jaguars to play in the NFL, ranked.
5. Mark Brunell (QB, 1995-2003)
Arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever wear Jacksonville’s colors is the great Mark Brunell. He was the first signal-caller of the franchise and spent nine years as the Jaguars’ main playmaker. Brunell made three Pro Bowls in his stay in Jacksonville and also led the squad to three playoff appearances from 1996-1999 – with two AFC Championship game appearances to boot. The quarterback had a long 19-year career in the league but his best stint, at least statistically, was in Jacksonville. He set franchise records for both passing yards (25,698) and touchdowns (144).
4. Fred Taylor (RB, 1998-2009)
Running back Fred Taylor took no time in impressing the league after being picked ninth overall in the 1998 draft by the Jaguars. He rushed for 1,223 yards and scored 14 touchdowns after just 12 starts. He would go on to compliment the Jaguar’s offensive prowess in his 11-year career in Jacksonville by tallying 1,000 yards for a total of seven years. Though injuries marred the Florida-native’s career in the NFL, resiliency was in Taylor’s DNA as he constantly proved that he could come back stronger, injury after injury. He ended his career for the Jaguars ranking first in yards (11,721) and second in touchdowns (62).
3. Jimmy Smith (WR, 1995-2005)
As part of the Jaguars’ inaugural team, Jimmy Smith is definitely in contention as one of the biggest legends in franchise history. His early career in the NFL was far from ideal, after a nearly-fatal incident ended his short stay with the Dallas Cowboys. He was grabbed by the Jaguars from the free agency pool and was slowly able to find his way back to reach his max potential. Smith was named to the Pro Bowl for five consecutive years from 1997-2001 and would propel himself as one of the best in the league. He would go on to tally a total of 862 receptions for 12,287 yards and 69 touchdowns as the best receiver in franchise history.
2. Maurice Jones-Drew (RB, 2006-2013)
MJD was somehow overlooked when he joined the 2006 NFL draft. The 5’7″ running back was still available in the second round when Jacksonville was able to snag him and would eventually reveal himself as one of the biggest steals in that draft class. Jones-Drew had a fantastic rookie year with 941 yards and 13 touchdowns with just one start. He joined Fred Taylor and formed one of the best receiving tandems in the league. After the Jaguars released Taylor in 2009, MJD finally got his much-awaited share of the spotlight and would continue to dominate the next three years as the Jaguars’ starting RB. He led the league in 2011 with a total of 1,606 rushing yards and would be famously known as “Pocket Hercules”. Unfortunately for MJD, his stay in Jacksonville ended quite anti-climatically as injuries led him out of the team. But that didn’t stop him from being one of the franchise’s best offensive weapons ever. He is currently third in team history’s career receptions (335), second in total yards (8,071) and first in touchdowns (68).
1. Tony Boselli (OT, 1995-2001)
The first ever draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise has arguably been the team’s best ever pick. Tony Boselli was Jacksonville’s first-ever pick and the 6’7″, 322 pound tackle was an instant beast for the team. He provided a wall for QB Mark Brunell and allowed the signal-caller to make passes and spearhead the Jaguars’ offense. The left tackle was having himself quite a career, being selected to five Pro Bowls and earning All-Pro honors in three of those years as the Jaguars’ anchor in their offensive line. Boselli’s career ended abruptly as a shoulder injury forced the legendary tackle to an early retirement in 2002. Even if he just played half of the 1990 decade, Boselli was still named as part of ther NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team, which says a lot about how good the California-native was when he was on the field. Boselli will definitely go down as one of the best, if not the best, Jaguars ever.