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NFL draft history: The best, the worst, the Jaguars

NFL draft history: The best, the worst, the Jaguars

Read this knowing in the end the Jaguars do not win

The 2019 NFL Draft horse is dead, and we have entered that period in which many will continue to beat it.

Put the stick down!

For Jaguars fans, the general hope is somehow the team will grab talent on the defensive line or at tight end instead of pulling a need pick out of the hat by taking an offensive tackle. More accurately, a right tackle.

Aflie’s piece on picking a defensive lineman echos what many, including myself, have expressed outside of Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson, which is take the best available talent in the defensive trenches. My hope has been Ed Oliver, and while I have been strong on Hockenson, Oliver has become the want.

But I digress. Let us not talk 2019 draft here. Instead, we can get distracted by looking at draft history. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has kindly ranked the best and worst draft classes based on positions, along with classes he thinks warrant watching to see if they become worthy of the label “best�.

After reading his piece, I wondered what the Jaguars did during the years Barnwell found noteworthy. Did they miss opportunities? Did they draft well at the position of focus, or did they draft other positions successfully in those years?

Yes, draft success and the Jaguars is mixture with a common flavor of ipecac, and after reading this you will probably feel nauseous. But you are here, and you know you are curious.

I am sorry I did this.

Quarterback

Best Class

3rd Place : 1998

1st Place: 1983

Barnwell ranks the class of 2004 second, which, if you are a learned Jaguars fan, is an area where the team should have found their replacement to Mark Brunell. Because Shack Harris took Byron Leftwich the year before, he missed the opportunity to grab Ben Rothlesberger.

For context, in 2004, the Jaguars drafted WR Reggie Williams. Keep your helmet on Reggie.

Worst Class

2013 gets the nod for worst class. Jaguars fan favorite Geno Smith (of which I was not) was part of this class, along with EJ Manuel. I recall this draft because I actually called the EJ Manuel to Buffalo pick. The interesting story behind Barnwell’s selection is the 2013 class has been considered an overall bad draft for all positions. Dave Caldwell’s first draft had him grabbing Luke Joeckel, which at the time was considered a solid pick. Unfortunately, it was the more criticized Eric Fisher pick by the Kansas City Chiefs that has yielded a Pro Bowl offensive tackle.

Class to Watch

Oh 2016. One of many memories that the Jaguars do not draft for quarterback depth, or generally fail when evaluating talent at the position. Patrick Mahomes. Jared Goff. Carson Wentz. Dak Prescott. Sigh.

Running Back

Best Class

3rd place: 1983

1st place: 1990

Jaguars hero Natrone Means was part of the 1983 class, so from one perspective the Jaguars look smart for grabbing him to help their 1996 playoff run. Barnwell has 1995 as the second best class, and no one should feel bad about the Jaguars drafting Tony Boselli, considering Bill holds this class in such high regard due to Terrell Davis (6th round) and Curtis Martin (3rd round), two players the Jaguars could have theoretically grabbed. In those rounds the Jaguars took Marcus Price (OT) and Bryan Schwartz (LB) respectively.

The Jaguars did grab James Stewart later in round 1, a player that did offer quality service for his years in Jacksonville. He did score five touchdowns in one game.

Ki-Jana Carter was the overall first selection (Tony was second), which does give pause for thought as to who the Jaguars might have taken had the Cincinnati Bengals gone offensive tackle. Carter tore his ACL during preseason of 2015 and never was the same player.

Worst Class (1992)

Class to Watch

Add insult to injury as Barnwell has his eyes on the year 2017. Jaguars took Leonard Fournette. Kareem Hunt might drag this draft down, but there is also Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon and Dalvin Cook. Again, sigh.

Wide Receiver

Best Class

3rd place: 1985

1st place: 1988

The year is 1996. The highlights are Terrell Owens (3rd) and Marvin Harrison (1st round) taken that year, along with Keyshawn Johnson (an arguable first round bust) and Eric Moulds. The ranking seems more top heavy, and leveraging length of NFL career as opposed to actual production.

The Jaguars picked second overall in 1996, grabbing linebacker Kevin Hardy (Keyshawn was taken first). Hardy was a key defensive cog for the Jaguars late 90’s success, and while Harrison had a better overall career it’s hard to criticize the team for not taking a wide receiver that lasted until pick 19. Or not. More on that to come when we look at the best linebacker class.

Rather than taking Owens early in round three the Jaguars took cornerback Aaron Beasley.

Worst Class

1997, led by convicted felon Rae Carruth, yielded some awful talent. Along with Carruth, three receivers who played college ball in the state of Florida were also first round failures: Yatil Green, Ike Hilliard, and Reidel Anthony. All but Carruth were taken before the Jaguars selected Renaldo Wynn with their first pick.

The Jaguars only drafted two offensive players in 1997, being tight end Damon Jones and fullback Jamison Shelton.

Class to Watch

More to come on this year, 2010, but know the Jaguars decided to pass on Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, and Antonio Brown. Overall strong pass catching draft. I am not kidding. 2010 is going to be a theme. Oh, and the Jaguars only took one offensive player in this draft: running back Deji Karim.

Tight End

Best Class

2nd place: 1978

Knowing what we all know about the history of the Jaguars ignoring the position, it is a bit surprising the Jaguars actually qualify as a team drafting the position in two of Barnwell’s rankings. 1997 holds the third position, with …read more

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