The Jacksonville Jaguars have four former players on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's preliminary ballot for the class of 2020, including running backs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, wide receiver Jimmy Smith, and offensive tackle Tony Boselli.
Maurice Jones-Drew (2006-2013)
Jones-Drew, a second-round draft pick in 2006, started 70 of 114 games in eight seasons with the Jaguars and led the team in rushing in six of his eight seasons. He concluded his career in 2014 with the Oakland Raiders, playing in 12 games with one start.
His career totals include 1,847 rushes for 8,167 yards and 68 touchdowns, 346 receptions for 2,944 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jones-Drew was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, earning the honors in three straight years from 2009-11, and is the only player in Jaguars history with at least 1,300 rushing yards in three consecutive seasons.
He also became the first player in franchise history to lead the NFL in rushing as he finished with a team-record 1,606 yards on 343 carries in 2011.
But it was Jones-Drew’s ability to keep this team watchable all by himself that really makes him a special player. For his final three seasons with the Jaguars, he was the offense. The team managed just 11 wins in a span that saw Blaine Gabbert, Luke McCown, and Chad Henne starting multiple NFL games. Mike Thomas was the leading receiver one season with 415 yards. Laurent Robinson was catching passes another year.
And yet Jones-Drew continued to carry this team on his shoulders.
Fred Taylor (1998-2008)
Prior to the 1998 NFL Draft, the Jaguars traded promising backup quarterback Rob Johnson to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the Bills’ first and fourth round picks. That first round pick was the No. 9 overall selection and allowed head coach Tom Coughlin to select the elite running back he’d craved for the past three seasons.
Over the next 11 seasons, he would compile 13,632 total yards, 70 touchdowns, average 4.6 yards per carry, become the all-time leading rusher in franchise history, and put together a human highlight reel it seemed every week.
He’s a super humble, generous guy who should receive Hall of Fame recognition in the years to come and he was as complete a running back as this Jaguars franchise will ever have.
We love you, Freddie.
Tony Boselli (1995-2001)
Dominant doesn't quite do Boselli justice, however. He made the Pro Bowl in five of his first six seasons. He was an All-Pro from 1997 through 1999. He's on the NFL All-Decade team for the 1990's. In a time where there were some very good offensive tackles, such as Jonathan Ogden and Bruce Armstrong, Boselli made a big name for himself in the smallest market in the league. But what separates Boselli from the other great offensive tackles of his day was his athleticism. He was game-listed as 6'7" and around 320 pounds, but the guy sure didn't play like it.
Jimmy Smith (1995-2005)
21st all-time in receiving yards.
A second-round pick with the Dallas Cowboys, Smith bounced around several practice squads before becoming a member of the inaugural Jaguars team in 1995. He played a minor role in the team’s first season, but blossomed (along with the team) in 1996.
In his 11 seasons with the Jaguars, he had nine 1,000-yards seasons. His 12,287 career receiving yards ranks him 21st on the all-time list, above the likes of Hall of Fame receivers like Michael Irvin, Charlie Joyner, and Don Maynard.