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30 Day Challenge: All-Time Favorite Jaguars Defensive Back

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For the month of June we'll ask a different Jacksonville Jaguars related question to our readers. It’s the dead season and this will help us all get to know each other a little better.

Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Continuing with our 30-day challenge articles, today’s question is who is your favorite Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back of all-time?

In the future, I think the common answer for the Jaguars faithful is going to be Jalen Ramsey (and rightfully so). However, the choice is easy for me now — Rashean Mathis. And while Donovin Darius is another one of my favorite players to ever suit up for Jacksonville, I have to give the nod to Mathis.

A second-round pick out of Bethune-Cookman in 2003, Mathis was a big-time player from a small school. He made an immediate impact, recording 81 tackles and two interceptions as a rookie playing cornerback and a little bit of free safety as well.

Additionally, Mathis’ presence on the outside helped the Jaguars’ pass defense really come into its own in the mid-2000s. After finishing 18th in Mathis’ rookie season, the unit ranked in the top half of the league in yards allowed per game for four straight seasons in 2004 to 2007, including two top-10 finishes, per Pro Football Reference.

Mathis has the most interceptions in Jaguars history with 30, and it’s by a landslide. The next closest is Aaron Beasley with 15. Mathis also leads the Jaguars all-time in passes deflected (104), interception yards (512), fumble recovery yards (160), and interceptions for a touchdown (3). Not too shabby.

Speaking of interception returns for touchdowns, Mathis added another one in the postseason. Let’s take a breather to remember that time when he picked off Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 63 yards for a score in a playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was my favorite play from Mathis’ time as a Jaguar.

You’ll have to open the video on YouTube, but once you do, skip to the 36-minute mark (if it doesn’t automatically do so). You won’t be disappointed.

Mathis was a Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selection in 2006, after recording 63 tackles, eight interceptions, and 21 pass deflections.

Longevity was another reason I admired Mathis. He played in Jacksonville for 10 seasons, playing in 175 games with 165 starts. It also helped that when he did have to leave Jacksonville, he signed with my hometown team of the Detroit Lions, allowing me to continue to watch him play on a weekly basis.

You’re up, Big Cat Country Nation, let us know in the comments who your all-time favorite Jaguars defensive back is.