The Jacksonville Jaguars have been around long enough to finally have a drink,legally, and enter a nightclub. The 2016 season will be their 22nd in the NFL. The Jags quickly made a name for themselves after their expansion franchise. In their first five seasons, they made the playoffs four times. A feat that had never been accomplished in League history by an expansion team. In only their second year of play, they made the 1996 AFC Championship game.
In 21 seasons, Jacksonville has won two division titles and made the playoffs six times. When you have a franchise still this young, it’s just as hard to select the four best players in their history, like teams that have been around for fifty, sixty or seventy plus years. But, I tried anyway. Here are my choices for the Jaguars Mount Rushmore.
- No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
- Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
- Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.
Jimmy Smith (1995-2005) is the franchise leader in receptions (862), receiving yards (12,287), receiving touchdowns (69), receptions in a season (116), receiving yards in a season (1,636), most seasons with 100+ receptions (2) and most seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards (9). When he retired in 2006 he held three NFL records–two of which have since been broken; most games with at least 5 receptions in a season (16), most consecutive games with at least 5 receptions (21), and he still holds the record for most games with at least 49 receiving yards in a season (16). His 862 catches and 12,287 receiving yards were seventh and eleventh, respectively, in NFL history when he retired in 205. The only players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with more receiving yards and than Smith are Jerry Rice, Art Monk, Steve Largent and James Loften. The only players with more catches are Rice and Monk. Smith also made the Pro Bowl five consecutive seasons from 1997-2001. This December, the franchise will inducted him into the “Pride of the Jaguars.”
Tony Boselli (1995-2001) was the first pick of the expansion Jaguars with the 2nd pick in 1995 draft. Boselli was a 5-time Pro Bowler (1996-2000) and a 3-time All-Pro. In 1998 he was voted NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year. He’s a member of the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team, and in October of 2006 he was the first player in team history inducted into the “Pride of the Jaguars” ring of honor.
Mark Brunell (1995-2003) was Brett Favre’s backup in Green Bay for two seasons before coming to Jacksonville and becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in career wins (63), passing yards (25,698), passing touchdowns (144), pass completions (2,184), attempts (3,616), and interceptions (86). Number 8 was a 3-time Pro Bowler, the 1996 NFL Passing Yards Leader, 1996 AFC Completions percentage leader, and he is the NFL record holder for most consecutive completions in a single game with 22. He was inducted into the “Pride of the Jaguars” ring of honor in December of 2013.
Fred Taylor (1998-2008) went from rushing through the swamps of Gainesville with the Gators, to the Jaguars all-time leader in games played by a running back (140), number one in rushing yards (11,271), and second in rushing touchdowns (62). Taylor was a 2007 Pro Bowler and 2007 All-Pro. He was also named the 2007 FedEx Ground Player of the Year. In September of 2012 he became the Jaguars second inductee into the “Pride of the Jaguars” ring of honor.