We’ve already covered the five best draft classes in Jacksonville Jaguars history, so the next logical step would be to look at the five worst all-time draft classes. Sadly, there are a lot to choose from.
Let’s jump right in...
5. Class of 2005
- Matt Jones (1)
- Khalif Barnes (2)
- Scott Starks (3)
- Alvin Pearman (4)
- Gerald Sensabaugh (5)
- Chad Owens (6)
- Pat Thomas (6)
- Chris Roberson (7)
This draft class was a disaster. Shack Harris took a risk in the first round on Matt Jones — a project wide receiver who played quarterback in college. A bevy of off-the-field problems related to drugs shortened Jones’ career to just four seasons.
Alvin Pearman had two stints with the Jaguars as a running back and punt returner, but was never a reliable player. He finished his career with 238 rushing yards and three total touchdowns.
Scott Starks started one game in his five-year career. Pat Thomas appeared in 15 games in three years as a member of the Jaguars. Chad Owens had zero career catches and three fumbles (on punt returns).
Khalif Barnes was a longtime starter for the Jaguars, but he also had his problems away from the gridiron. He has been arrested twice, including once during his time in Jacksonville for driving under the influence of alcohol. Gerald Sensabaugh was never a major contributor for the Jaguars, but then had four productive seasons in Dallas.
On a side note, I knew Chris Roberson’s father. I remember the day he told me his son had been drafted by the Jaguars. It’s a shame he couldn’t find a spot in the NFL, but it’s hard out here for seventh-rounders.
4. Class of 2010
- Tyson Alualu (1)
- D’Anthony Smith (3)
- Larry Hart (5)
- Austen Lane (5)
- Deji Karim (6)
- Scotty McGee (6)
The Jaguars opted to take a plethora of players from Football Championship Subdivision schools in this small class. Bold strategy, Jacksonville. It did not work out.
Despite some criticism, I think Tyson Alualu was a solid player along the defensive line for Jacksonville. He’s not the reason for this ranking. He started 87 games for the Jaguars, and appeared in at least 14 games in each of his seven seasons. However, he was no doubt over-drafted at No. 10 overall, with many better options on the board.
Larry Hart made it just one season in the NFL, as the Jaguars released him right before the 2011 season. D’Anthony Smith also made it just one season in Jacksonville, and then bounced around the league. Austen Lane recorded three sacks in three years as a part of the Jaguars. As a rookie, he recorded zero sacks in nine starts.
Deji Karim averaged just 3.1 yards per tote in his career. He was a good kick returner, however, averaging nearly 26 yards per return. Scotty McGee was also released before the 2011 season. He has no recorded playing time.
3. Class of 2012
- Justin Blackmon (1)
- Andre Branch (2)
- Bryan Anger (3)
- Brandon Marshall (5)
- Mike Harris (6)
- Jeris Pendleton (7)
Where to even start with this one? This was Gene Smith’s last draft as the team’s general manager, and it was another small class with big blunders.
Justin Blackmon was one of the colossal disappointments of the 2010s. By now we all know the narrative — alcohol and drugs have prematurely ended Blackmon’s career.
The shame is that Blackmon was an electrifying player on the field. He hauled in 93 passes for 1,281 yards and six touchdowns in just 20 games. Blackmon is a huge bust, but not because of ability.
Furthermore, the Jaguars drafted a punter in the third round, over the likes of Russell Wilson. They also selected an inconsistent Andre Branch (14 sacks in four years in Jacksonville) in the second round and let Brandon Marshall go after just one season, only to see him become a reliable starter and Super Bowl champion as part of the Denver Broncos.
In Jacksonville’s defense, Anger did make the All-Rookie team, and was top-10 in punting average for three of his four years in Duval County, but again, he is a punter. In Marshall’s case, perhaps he was a better fit in a 3-4 defensive scheme. But wrong decisions have plagued this franchise.
2. Class of 2011
- Blaine Gabbert (1)
- Will Rackley (3)
- Cecil Shorts (4)
- Chris Prosinski (4)
- Rod Issac (5)
It seems the less picks Jacksonville had, the worse the class performed. This draft class makes me cringe.
Blaine Gabbert as a member of the Jaguars: 53.3 percent completion rate, 4,357 yards, 22 touchdowns, 24 interceptions, a quarterback rating of 66.4, and abysmal record of five wins and 22 losses.
Injuries hindered Will Rackley. After starting 14 games at left guard as a rookie, Rackley lost his starting job in 2012, and then missed the entire season with an ankle injury anyways. After returning to the starting lineup in 2013, he once again suffered an injury that ended his season. Rackley and the Jaguars parted ways in the 2014 offseason.
Rod Issac lasted one season in the NFL, appearing in three games. Chris Prosinski has just one interception in seven total seasons.
Cecil Shorts was the saving grace of this class, ranking in the top-10 in Jaguars history in receptions, yards, and yards per game average.
1. Class of 2008
- Derrick Harvey (1)
- Quentin Groves (2)
- Thomas Williams (5)
- Trae Williams (5)
- Chauncey Washington (7)
Only one player in this class played at least five full seasons in the league.
That player was not first-round pick Derrick Harvey, either. It was the late Quentin Groves, who struggled to cement his role in the NFL, but finished with 175 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Groves tragically suffered a heart attack last fall, at only 32-years-young.
Harvey started 32 games, and appeared in 47 as a member of the Jaguars, but just never had the consistent play or talent the organization was hoping for. He had just eight sacks in three years, and never forced a fumble. Swing and a miss.
Thomas Williams, Trae Williams and Chauncey Washington played in a combined 26 career games between the three of them, with Trae Williams contributing zero. Washington finished his career with five carries for eight yards and zero touchdowns. A neck injury forced Thomas Williams into early retirement.
Honorable mention: Class of 2013
Dave Caldwell’s first draft at the helm was, well, let’s call it a learning experience. Luke Joeckel, Jonathan Cyprien, Dwayne Gratz, Ace Sanders and others all fizzled out in Jacksonville.
Unsurprisingly, the top-five worst draft classes as I see them were under the leadership of Gene Smith or James “Shack” Harris. There were other classes I could have easily justified, though. Tell me your least favorite class below.
Which draft class was Jacksonville's worst?
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