Rob Johnson listed as one of the Jacksonville Jaguars 10 best draft picks looks a little odd out of the gate, but hear me out. Rob Johnson was a supremely talented quarterback at Southern Cal, holding virtually every school passing record when he entered the NFL Draft after the 1994 season. Johnson was the first overall pick in the fourth round of the 1995 draft (99th overall). He was drafted as a developmental starter to compete with then back up Mark Brunell and sat on the bench behind then starter Steve Beuerline.
Johnson finally got a start at the end of the 1997 season after being active for only 8 games from 1995 through the end of the 1997 season, including his first start in Week 17. In his lone start however, Johnson put up an impressive showing. Johnson went 20 of 24 passing the ball for 294 yards, 2 touchdowns and ran for 31 yards and one touchdown in a 28-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. After the performance, there were some who wondered if Rob Johnson could be gunning for Mark Brunell's job, but Johnson injured his ankle and Brunell went back into the starting line-up.
After the 1997 season, Rob Johnson was placed on the trading block. In early February, he was traded to the Buffalo Bills for a first round (9th overall) and 4th round (101st overall) draft picks. Johnson was immediately named the starting quarterback by then Buffalo head coach Wade Phillips, and givin a 5-year, $25 million contract. I'm not going to lie, I thought Rob Johnson was going to be a really good NFL quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He had all the tools you could ask for in a franchise quarterback, but it just didn't work out. Johnson played only 4 seasons for the Buffalo Bills, starting only 26 games and battling injuries his entire career there. In his final two seasons in Buffalo he played only 20 games and was sacked 80 times. Johnson played three seasons in the NFL after he was released by the Bills in 2002, playing a season with each the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, and Oakland Raiders. Johnson started just two games for the Buccaneers.
Johnson now runs "Camp Quarterback" with his brother and father in Southern California, assisting quarterbacks to get ready for the NFL Draft.
Oh yeah, back to why Rob Johnson was one of the best draft picks in Jaguars history. Remember those draft picks the Jaguars got for Rob? The first round pick and the fourth round pick? Those picks turned into runningbacks Fred Taylor and Tavian Banks. For those who don't remember Tavian Banks, he was kind of Maurice Jones-Drew "lite" of back in the day, but his career was cut short by a cheap shot to his knees.
Not a bad ROI for the 99th overall pick.
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