Which Jaguars GM produced the best draft classes?

Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Set Number: X58577

A look at notable early-round draft picks that made an impression, and the general managers that drafted them.

We are officially 22 days away from the 2024 NFL Draft! Naturally, there is a lot of buzz around who the Jaguars will take at pick 17 and Trent Baalke’s history with the draft. Let’s take a look at the five general managers in Jacksonville Jaguars history and notable draft picks from the first three rounds that made an impression in the franchise.

Tom Coughlin 1995 – 2002

Notable draft picks

1995: Left tackle Tony Boselli (round one, pick two) and defensive back Chris Hudson (round three, pick 71)

Tony Boselli was the first Jaguar to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. He made the NFL’s 90’s All-Decade Team, a three-time NFL All-Pro Team (1997, 1998, 1999), PFWA NFL All-Pro Team (1997, 1998, 1999), and PFWA All-Rookie Team (1995). During Chris Hudson’s 45 starts with the Jaguars, he recorded eight regular-season interceptions.

1996: Linebacker Kevin Hardy (round one, pick two), defensive end Tony Brackens (round two, pick 33), and defensive back Aaron Beasley (round three, pick 63)

Kevin Hardy was named to the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team, PFWA NFL All-Pro Team, and AP NFL All-Pro Team in 1999. Tony Brackens was also named to the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team, was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in December 1996, AFC Defensive Player of the Month in October and November 1999, and AP NFL All-Pro Team (2nd Team) also in 1999. Aaron Beasley was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September 1999. During his six seasons with the team, he recorded 15 regular-season interceptions.

1997: Defensive end Renaldo Wynn (round one, pick 21)

Renaldo Wynn was named to the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. During his five seasons with the Jaguars, he registered 13.5 regular season sacks.

1998: Running back Fred Taylor (round one, pick nine) and safety Donovin Davis (round one, pick 25)

Fred Taylor was named the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month (September and December). Taylor was a three-time AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 3 1998, Week 12 2000, and Week 15 2004). In 2007, he was AFC Offensive Player of the Month (December), named FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year, and AP NFL All-Pro Team (2nd Team). During Donovin Darius’s rookie year, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in November and made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team.

1999: Defensive back Fernando Bryant (round one, pick 26)

Fernando Bryant made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. He spent five seasons with the Jaguars and recorded five regular-season interceptions and 204 solo tackles.

2000: Center Brad Meester (round two, pick 60)

Brad Meester made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. He started in all 209 regular season games during his 14 seasons in Jacksonville.

2001: Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud (round one, pick 13) and offensive tackle Maurice Williams (round two, pick 43)

In 2003, Marcus Stroud was named to the AP NFL All-Pro Team (2nd Team). He spent seven seasons with the Jaguars and recorded 22 sacks. Maurice Williams spent his nine-year career with the team and started in 100 out of 105 regular season games.

2002: Defensive tackle John Henderson (round one, pick nine) and linebacker Akin Ayodele (round three, pick 89)

John Henderson made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team and was named AP NFL All-Pro Team (2nd Team) in 2006. He recorded 29 sacks and 333 solo tackles (regular season) during his eight seasons in Jacksonville. During his four seasons with the Jaguars, Akin Ayodele registered 279 solo tackles, 349 total tackles, and 8.5 sacks.


James “Shack” Harris 2003 – 2008

Notable draft picks

2003: Quarterback Byron Leftwich (round one, pick seven), defensive back Rashean Mathis (round two, pick 39), and guard Vince Manuwai (round three, pick 72)

During his rookie year, Byron Leftwich was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in December and made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. Rashean Mathis was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in November, AFC Defensive Player of the Week twice (Week 3 2004 and Week 2 2006), PFWA NFL All-Pro Team (2006), and AP NFL All-Pro Team (2006). Vincent Manuwai started in 105 out of 111 games and made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team.

2004: Wide receiver Reggie Williams (round one, pick nine) and linebacker Daryl Smith (round two, pick 39)

Reggie Williams started in 53 out of 79 games and recorded 189 regular season receptions for 2,322 receiving yards. Daryl Smith was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance during Week 1 of the 2010 season.

2005: Offensive tackle Khalif Barnes (round two, pick 52)

Khalif Barnes played four seasons for Jacksonville and was named to the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team.

2006: Tight end Marcedes Lewis (round one, pick 28) and running back Maurice Jones-Drew (round two, pick 60)

Marcedes Lewis scored 33 regular season touchdowns during his twelve seasons with the Jaguars. In 2006, Maurice Jones-Drew was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week (Week 14) and PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. While in Jacksonville, he was AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 3 2009), PFWA NFL All-Pro Team (2011), and AP NFL All-Pro Team (2011).

2007: Defensive back Reggie Nelson (round one, pick 21) and wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker (round three, pick 79)

Reggie Nelson played three seasons in Jacksonville and made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. Mike Sims-Walker scored 14 regular-season touchdowns during his time with the Jaguars.

2008: Defensive end Derrick Harvey (round one, pick eight)

In three seasons, Derrick Harvey recorded 70 regular-season solo tackles and eight sacks.


Gene Smith 2009 – 2012

Notable draft picks

2009: Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (round one, pick eight), defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (round three, pick 72), and defensive back Derek Cox (round three, pick 73)

Eugene Monroe started in 62 out of 65 games. Terrance Knighton made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. In four seasons, Derek Cox recorded 170 regular-season solo tackles.

2010: Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (round one, pick ten)

Tyson Alualu made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team and recorded 177 regular-season solo tackles.

2011: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (round one, pick ten)

Blaine Gabbert threw for 4,357 yards during his three seasons as a Jaguar.

2012: Wide receiver Justin Blackmon (round one, pick five) and punter Bryan Anger (round three, pick 70)

Justin Blackmon and Bryan Anger both made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team.


David Caldwell 2013 – 2020

Notable draft picks

2013: Offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (round one, pick two) and safety Johnathan Cyprien (round two, pick 33)

Luke Joeckel started in all 39 games played during four seasons. Johnathan Cyprien recorded 452 combined tackles as a Jaguar.

2014: Quarterback Blake Bortles (round one, pick three), wide receiver Allen Robinson (round two, pick 61), and center Brandon Linder (round three, pick 93)

Blake Bortles completed 1,561 regular season passes for 17,646 yards. Allen Robinson scored 22 receiving touchdowns in four seasons. Brandon Linder started in the 88 games he played in.

2015: Guard A.J. Cann (round three, pick 67)

A.J. Cann started in 94 out of 95 games while with the franchise.

2016: Defensive back Jalen Ramsey (round one, pick five), linebacker Myles Jack (round two, pick 36), and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (round three, pick 69)

As a rookie, Jalen Ramsey made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 16. In 2017, he made the PFWA NFL All-Pro Team and AP NFL All-Pro Team. Myles Jack had a career-high 14 total tackles on September 10, 2017, against the Houston Texans. Yannick Ngakoue also made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team.

2017: Running back Leonard Fournette (round one, pick four), offensive tackle Cam Robinson (round two, pick 34), and defensive end Dawuane Smoot (round three, pick 68)

Leonard Fournette rushed for 1,000+ yards in two out of three of his seasons as a Jaguar. Cam Robinson has played 84 regular season games in Jacksonville and started in all of them. Dawuane Smoot has appeared in 99 regular season games.

2018: Wide receiver D.J. Chark (round two, pick 61) and linebacker Ronnie Harrison (round three, pick 93)

During his second season with the Jaguars, D.J. Chark recorded 1,008 regular-season receiving yards. Ronnie Harrison played two seasons in Jacksonville and registered three interceptions, 35 solo tackles, and three sacks.

2019: Linebacker Josh Allen (round one, pick seven) and offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor (round two, pick 35)

Josh Allen made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week three times (Week 9 2021, Week 18 2022, and Week 12 2023). Jawaan Taylor also made the PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team.

2020: Linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (round one, pick 20), wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr.(round two, pick 42), and defensive tackle Davon Hamilton (round three, pick 73)

K’Lavon Chaisson recorded 73 combined regular season tackles and five sacks. Laviska Shenault Jr. started in 22 out of 30 regular season games and scored five touchdowns. Davon Hamilton has recorded 144 combined regular-season tackles


Trent Baalke 2021 – present

Draft picks from the first three rounds

2021: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (round one, pick one), running back Travis Etienne Jr. (round one, pick 25), defensive back Tyson Campbell (round two, pick 33), offensive tackle Walker Little (round two, pick 45), and defensive back Andre Cisco (round three, pick 65)

2022: Defensive back Travon Walker (round one, pick one), linebacker Devin Lloyd (round one, pick 27), center Luke Fortner (round three, pick 65), and linebacker Chad Muma (round three, pick 70)

2023: Offensive tackle Anton Harrison (round one, pick 27), tight end Brenton Strange (round two, pick 61), and running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby (round three, pick 88)

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Title: Which Jaguars GM produced the best draft classes?
Author: Caitlin Connor

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