Three former Jaguars nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Boselli, Smith and Taylor on 130-player list; Jax native Butler makes it, too

The Jaguars have never had a player selected to the Hall of Fame. But this might be the year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three Jaguars and one Jacksonville native are nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021.

Tony Boselli, Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor were among the 130 players announced on Wednesday for next year’s group. Another local product, Lee High School graduate LeRoy Butler, was also a nominee.

Boselli, the first draft pick in Jaguars history, and Butler were Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists last year. It was Boselli’s fourth time as a finalist and Butler’s first.

Taylor was a semifinalist last year but did not make the cut to the final 15.

Boselli was the No. 2 overall pick by the expansion Jaguars in 1995. He was a Pro Bowl selection from 1996-2000 before injuries ended his career.

Taylor was drafted ninth overall by the Jaguars in 1998. Taylor, who played for the Jaguars from 1998-2008 and for New England from 2009-2010, rushed for 11,695 yards and 66 touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons. He was a Pro Bowl selection following the 2007 season.

Taylor, the Jaguars' career rushing leader with 11,271 yards, holds seven of the top 10 single-season rushing totals in team history, with 1,572 yards on 345 carries during the 2003 season.

Smith is the most dominant receiver in Jaguars history. He played in 171 regular season games with the team and had 12,287 yards and 67 touchdowns. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and led the NFL in receptions in 1999.

Butler, who played for iconic coach Corky Rogers at Lee, spent 12 seasons in the NFL, all with the Packers. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. Butler had 38 career interceptions and forced 13 fumbles. He had 721 tackles and was inducted into the Packers hall of fame in 2007.

The Class of 2021 is stacked, with quarterback Peyton Manning, receiver Calvin Johnson and safety Charles Woodson all eligible for the first time.

The list will be reduced to 125 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.