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Jaguars' all-time best, worst draft picks

Justin Blackmon after he was selected by the Jaguars in the first round in 2012. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Justin Blackmon after he was selected by the Jaguars in the first round in 2012. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As we wait to see how the Jaguars do in the 2016 NFL draft, we wanted to take a look at the Jaguars' successes and failures from previous drafts.

We came up with 10 bests and 10 busts from the team's first 21 draft classes and listed them chronologically. Granted, the lists are subjective, particularly when it comes to calling a player a bust.

We provided a short history for each player, including where he is now, to back up our choices. You can scroll to the bottom of this story to vote in our surveys for the all-time best and worst picks.

Still think we missed someone? Tweet your bests and busts with #JagsDraft.

MORE DETAILS: View Jags Bests/Busts table display

  BEST PICKS
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Tony Boselli (1995)

The team's first-ever draft pick became a five-time Pro Bowl selection, was named to the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team and was named NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1998.

Boselli's all-pro career was recognized in 2006 when he became the first player to be inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars, the team's Hall of Fame, and symbolically retired as a Jaguar.

Boselli is now a sports broadcaster for radio and television, coaches high school football with former teammate Mark Brunell at Episcopal School of Jacksonville and continues the philanthropic efforts he began as a player through the Jacksonville-based Boselli Foundation.

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Fred Taylor (1998)

The Jaguars' first pick in the 1998 draft spent 11 seasons with the team and was a 2007 Pro Bowl selection.

Taylor overcame repeated injuries to become the Jags' career rushing leader with 11,271 yards, a title that he still holds today.

After playing two seasons for the New England Patriots, Taylor symbolically retired as a Jaguar in 2011 and was the second player inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars in 2012.

Taylor's son, Kelvin Taylor, followed in his father's footsteps in playing for the Florida Gators and is a 2016 NFL draft prospect.

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Marcus Stroud (2001)

The Jaguars' first-round draft pick in 2001, Stroud was voted a Pro Bowl starter for three straight years from 2003-2005.

Stroud had 22 sacks and 457 total tackles in 100 games for the Jaguars, teaming with John Henderson for six seasons (2002-07) to give the team arguably one of the NFL's best defensive tackle tandems.

Stroud played three years with the Buffalo Bills before retiring ceremonially as a Jaguar in 2012.

He earned an MBA from George Washington University in 2014, and currently works as president and CEO of the Marcus Stroud Foundation.

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John Henderson (2002)

The No. 9 overall pick in the 2002 draft, Henderson spent eight seasons with the Jaguars and finished his career with 29 sacks.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection (2004, 2006), Henderson, nicknamed "Big John," was part of a dynamic defensive duo with Marcus Stroud. The two remain the only Jaguars defensive players to be selected to multiple Pro Bowls.

Henderson played two seasons with the Oakland Raiders before being released in 2012.

He continues to live in Jacksonville with his family. After a domestic incident with his wife in November 2015, court documents showed that Henderson is in litigation with the NFL concerning concussion syndrome, according to the Florida Times-Union.

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Rashean Mathis (2003)

A Jacksonville-native and Englewood High School alum, Mathis was drafted in the second round in 2003 with the 39th overall pick.

Mathis is the Jaguars’ career leader in interceptions with 30 in 137 career appearances for the team. He holds the single-season record with eight interceptions (2006) and is the only Jaguar to have returned three picks for touchdowns.

A 2006 Pro Bowl selection, Mathis ended his career playing three seasons with the Detroit Lions.

He signed a one-day contract with Jacksonville in April to officially retire as a member of the Jaguars. He said he plans to work on his golf game and hopes to play professionally.

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Daryl Smith (2004)

Drafted in the second round in 2004, Smith spent nine seasons with the Jaguars and became the team's all-time leading tackler (537).

Smith had 21.5 sacks, six interceptions and recorded a safety in his career with the Jaguars.

He became a free agent in 2013 and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. He reeled in three interceptions in his first season in Baltimore and had nine sacks in three seasons with the Ravens.

Smith, who ranks fourth among active players in total tackles, was released in March and was quickly signed to a one-year deal by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Josh Scobee (2004)

Chosen in the fifth round with the No. 137 overall pick in 2004, Scobee played 11 seasons with the Jaguars, becoming the team's all-time scoring leader (1,022 points).

He earned a reputation as a clutch kicker, three times beating the division rival Indianapolis Colts with game-ending, 50+ yard field goals.

The longest field goal of his career was a 59-yard game-winning kick on the final play against Indianapolis in Week 4 of the 2010 season.

Scobee was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers before the start of the 2015 regular season but was released after four games.

He signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints in March.

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Marcedes Lewis (2006)

The Jaguars’ current longest-tenured player was selected in the first round of the 2006 draft with the 28th overall pick.

A Pro Bowl selection in 2010 when he tied a then-franchise season record with 10 touchdown catches, Lewis is considered one of the NFL's better run-blocking tight ends.

In 10 seasons, Lewis has caught 331 passes for 4,015 yards and 27 touchdowns.

He caught 16 passes for 226 yards last season and recently signed a three-year contract extension with Jacksonville that will allow him to finish his career as a Jaguar.

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Maurice Jones-Drew (2006)

A second-round selection in the 2006 NFL draft (No. 60 overall), Jones-Drew became a three-time Pro Bowler (2009-2011) and was the NFL rushing leader in 2011.

He finished with a franchise-record 1,606 yards that season, his third straight season with more than 1,000 yards rushing.

He rushed for 8,071 yards and 68 touchdowns in eight seasons with the Jaguars before signing with the Oakland Raiders in 2014 as a free agent.

He returned to Jacksonville in April 2015 to ceremonially retire as a Jaguar. He is currently working as an analyst for NFL Network and runs the Maurice Jones-Drew Foundation.

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Blake Bortles (2014)

The No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft, Bortles is well on his way to becoming one of the team's most successful quarterbacks.

He set franchise records in 2015 in just his second season with 4,428 yards passing, 35 touchdowns and 15 straight games with a TD pass.

Bortles is about to start the third year of his four-year rookie contract worth $20.6 million guaranteed.

 

  WORST PICKS
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Brian DeMarco (1995)

Drafted in the second round behind future Pride of the Jaguars offensive lineman Tony Boselli, DeMarco was a starter at right tackle for the Jaguars in their opening season.

But he started just 23 games over the next three years and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1999 after becoming an unrestricted free agent.

He retired after one season with the Bengals because of multiple injuries, including devastating spinal damage that left him disabled.

He now teaches Sunday school classes at his church in Texas and has become an advocate for disabled NFL retirees.

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Cordell Taylor (1998)

A second-round pick in 1998 (No. 57 overall), Taylor played mostly on special teams during his rookie season, seeing the field in only 11 games.

Taylor had left knee surgery and a cleanup procedure on his big toe at the end of that season and never played for the Jags again.

He was out of the NFL by 1999 after short stints with the Seattle Seahawks and the Chicago Bears.

Taylor played one season in the Canadian Football League (2001) and was a defensive backs coach at his alma mater, Hampton University, before becoming a cornerbacks coach at Savannah State University in 2014.

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R. Jay Soward (2000)

Widely regarded as the Jaguars' biggest draft flop, Soward was taken in the first round of the 2000 draft with the No. 29 pick overall.

He wore out his welcome in training camp when he had to be picked up by a limo at the team's expense every day for practice. He was suspended multiple times for violating the league's substance abuse policy, later revealing that his personal demon was alcohol.

He played in only 13 games for the Jaguars, catching 14 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown. He never filed for reinstatement after his last suspension and went on to play in the Canadian Football League from 2004-2006. He won a Grey Cup Championship with the Toronto Argonauts.

He later played one season (2011) with the Ontario Warriors of the Indoor Football League.

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Byron Leftwich (2003)

It appeared that the Jaguars got lucky during the 2003 draft when a last-second trade fell apart, Minnesota missed its window in the first round and the Jaguars swooped in and snatched up Leftwich with the No. 7 pick overall.

But Leftwich's talent never materialized consistently for the Jaguars and he was hampered by repeated ankle injuries, including one that required season-ending surgery in 2006.

He was released in September 2007 after four seasons with Jacksonville. He finished with a 24-20 record, 789 completions for 9,042 yards, 51 touchdowns and 36 interceptions.

He bounced around the NFL, playing one season each with Atlanta (2007), Pittsburgh (2008) and Tampa Bay (2009) before returning to the Steelers for the final two seasons of his career (2010-11).

He earned a Super Bowl ring in 2008 as Ben Roethlisberger's backup in Super Bowl XLIII, but broke a rib in a game for the Steelers in 2012.

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Reggie Williams (2004)

The No. 9 overall pick in 2004, Williams put up only pedestrian numbers in his first three seasons with Jacksonville, which included a concussion in 2005 and a marijuana possession charge in 2006.

Williams set a single-season receiving touchdown record in 2007, but it was a flash of brilliance that didn't last, because he caught only three TDs in 2008.

He spent 2009 out of football and had two more run-ins with the law before signing briefly with the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. He was cut before the season began.

He played for the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions (2011) and the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts (2013).

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Matt Jones (2005)

Although he played quarterback at Arkansas, the Jaguars took a chance on drafting Jones as a wide receiver in the first round in 2005, and it never panned out, mostly because of off-field issues.

Jones was charged with cocaine possession in Arkansas in 2008, but completed a drug treatment program. The arrest landed him a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

He was arrested again in March 2009 after violating his probation by testing positive for alcohol on a drug test. The Jaguars released him days later.

Jones finished his four seasons with Jacksonville with 166 catches for 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals before the start of the 2010 season and never played in the NFL again.

Jones is now a sports radio personality in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Derrick Harvey (2008)

The No. 8 overall pick in 2008 was expected to become the elite pass rusher that the Jaguars needed, but it never came together for Harvey, despite the Jaguars trading a first-round pick, two third-round picks and a fourth-round pick to move up 18 spots to take him.

Harvey held out for over a month before signing his rookie contract. He was waived before the start of the 2011 season, finishing his three years with the Jaguars with only eight sacks, 70 tackles and zero forced fumbles.

He played in five games for the Denver Broncos in 2011 with no sacks and only two tackles. He was signed by the Bengals in 2012 but was released before the season began.

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Quentin Groves (2008)

The Jaguars moved up six spots in the second round of the 2008 draft to take Groves, who was expected to improve the pass rush, along with first-round pick Derrick Harvey.

Groves played in every game in his two seasons in Jacksonville, mostly on special teams. A sack specialist at Auburn, Groves had just 35 tackles, two sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles for the Jaguars.

He was traded to the Oakland Raiders before the 2010 season. He spent two seasons with the Raiders and put up similar numbers to his time in Jacksonville.

He played one season each in Arizona (2012), Cleveland (2013) and Tennessee (2014) before being released before the start of the regular season in Buffalo (2015).

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Blaine Gabbert (2011)

Jacksonville traded up six spots to take Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

He wasn't slated to be the starter in his rookie season, but he took over after Luke McCown played poorly in the first two games of 2011.

Gabbert struggled with injuries and went 5-22 as a starter, throwing 22 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions in 28 games.

He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014 and was named their starter after Colin Kaepernick was benched in 2015.

He'll be playing the second year of a two-year deal with San Francisco in 2016.

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Justin Blackmon (2012)

The Jaguars took Blackmon with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft, but his off-field troubles began before he played in his first game for Jacksonville.

Blackmon was charged with DUI in June 2012 in Oklahoma. He showed flashes of brilliant talent in his rookie season, catching 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns.

But he ran into trouble again in the offseason, earning a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He played in four games after serving his suspension, but during the bye week he earned another suspension for substance abuse -- this time indefinite. He hasn't played in the NFL since.

Blackmon was charged with DUI again in December 2015 in Oklahoma.

 

  JAGS' BIGGEST DRAFT HIT, MISS?

From these top 10 and bottom 10 lists, who do you think was the team's all-time biggest draft success, failure?

 

Editor's Note: Photos in story from the Associated Press, Savannah State University and the NFL.