Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
In the seventh of a series of off-season articles going over the nineteen NFL drafts performed in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ history, we will continue with 2000. We have previously examined:
- The 1995 Expansion Draft
- The 1995 NFL Draft pt 1
- The 1995 NFL Draft pt 2
- The 1996 NFL Draft
- The 1997 NFL Draft
- The 1998 NFL Draft
- The 1999 NFL Draft
The Jaguars posted the best record in the NFL with a 14-2 record. The problem was that both of those losses came to one team…The Tennessee Titans. The Jags ended the Dolphins’ season and Dan Marino’s career with a ridiculous 62-7 victory in the Divisional Playoff game. Then…Because of the DAMN “MUSIC CITY MIRACLE” …The Jags had to play the Titans for the right to get to the Super Bowl. They couldn’t lose to the same team three times in the same season? At home no less. After leading 14-10 at halftime, the Jags didn’t score again and lost 33-14. I still hurt in my heart just from writing this. This earned the Jags the overall 29th pick in the 2000 Draft. After the season the Jags just had, I’m sure they went into the draft with the philosophy that they were stacked and could draft best available or specific to a possible need. It would prove to be the beginning of the end for Jaguar success. I will go over each pick and say something concerning the player if deserving. I will also bring up any missed opportunity where the Jags, with hindsight on my side, could have made a better selection. I’ll also bring up anything interesting related to the draft…Jaguar or not. As Willie Wonka famously said… “Come with me and you’ll see a land of pure imagination!”
Round One/Pick #29 – R. Jay Soward, WR, USC – Wow…Would be considered the worst first round pick in Jags history if it hadn’t come so late. Anyone familiar with my other articles know how I feel about R. Jay Soward. If you don’t mind…I’d like to move away from this piece of trash. Would I have picked differently? – It offends me that you would even ask! Next pick…LB Keith Bullock, a three time All Pro for the Damn Titans…They beat us again!! Extra note – Interesting first round. The Redskins had both the #2  picks and hit them both (LaVar Arrington & Chris Samuels). For the only time in NFL history, The Jets had FOUR 1st round picks. They did surprisingly well also (Shaun Ellis, John Abraham, Chad Pennington, & Anthony Becht). Finally, for the first time since 1966, a kicker (Sebastian Janikowski) was selected with the 17th pick overall. Makes our 3rd round pick for a punter look downright conservative.
Round Two/Pick #60 – Brad Meester, C, Northern Iowa – First good second round pick since 1996. Played not spectacular but consistently well for Jacksonville for 14 yrs before retireing at the end of last year. Because of his hard work and longevity, could possibly make the Ring of Honor one day. Would I have picked differently? – No. Good player. Great man and team representative. He will be missed. Plus…Nobody any good or sexy was picked after him.
Round Three/Pick #92 – T.J. Slaughter, LB, Southern Mississippi – T.J. wasn’t horrible, but he was not at all worthy of a third round pick. He managed to stay in the league seven years but didn’t put up satisfactory stats and was hurt often. Great name for a lineback though! Would I have picked differently? – Yes sir. At #98, Green Bay selected Na’il Diggs, a LB that ended up playing for 12 years.
Round Four/Pick #123 – Joe Chustz, OT, Louisiana Tech – I’ve said it before but it truly needs to be said here…WHO?!?!? Was placed on IR before training camp even broke. Released the next year because of a bad back and salary cap reasons. Never played a professional play in career. Would I have picked differently? – Absolutely. At #142, the Raiders selected punter Shane Lechler . Multiple Pro Bowls. Still playing now and still one of the best.
Round Five/Pick #159 – Kiwaukee Thomas, CB, Georgia Southern – Kiwaukee turned out to be the typical CB that was selected by the Jags in these years. He was serviceable. He was a confident tackler. He just wasn’t a playmaker. He lasted with the Jags for five years and played 75 games, but didn’t really do anything. He averaged about 24 tackles a year, had 15 passes defended and 4 sacks during his tenure. He had no interceptions! this would be weak stats for a free safety, let alone a CB. This pick was a miss. Would I have picked differently? – Yes. LB Dhani Jones selected at #177 (11 seasons, 889 tackles, 5 INTs, 9.5 sacks), LB Adalius Thomas at #186 (10 seasons, 517 tackles, 7 INTs, 53 sacks, 45 passes deflected, 2 Pro Bowls & a Super Bowl victory), or RB Mike Anderson at #189 (8 years, 4067 yds rushing, 92 catches, 727 yds receiving, 42 combined TDs, 2000 rookie of the year).
Round Six/Pick #196 – Emanuel Smith, WR, Arkansas – Another nobody. No NFL stats. Moving on…Would I have picked differently? – Damnit…I’m tired of this! I know we had Mark Brunell and he was playing great but he was always a little fragile. Maybe we could have prepared for the future. Maybe we could have taken who was selected three picks later…Tom FREAKIN’ Brady. Do you think that would have benefited our team?
Round Seven/Pick #236 – Erik Olson, FS, Colorado State – Another wasted pick. He played one year, 14 games, three tackles! UNBELIEVABLE! Would I have picked differently? – I can’t concentrate…I’m still thinking about that we could have Brady at #199. I’m getting sick!
Round Seven/Pick #241 – Rob Meier, DT, Washington State – Probably one of the best 7th round player selected by the Jags in their history. Played all 10 years in Jacksonville. 215 tackles, 21.5 sacks, and he only missed six games in his career. Would I have picked differently? – Nope…I would have been very pleased with this. (Interesting Note) – Meier was born in Vancouver, BC. Because of that he was eligible to be drafted in the Canadian Football League. The previous year, he was the overall #1 pick in the CFL draft. I’m glad he held out for the NFL!
Round Seven/Pick #243 – Shyrone Stith, RB, Virginia Tech – Back to poor picks. Played one year for the Jags. 14 games, 55 yds, 1 TD. Even for a seventh rounder…WEAK! Would I have picked differently? – MY GOD!!!! Tom Brady was there for us at #199…I just can’t move on!!
Round Seven/Pick #245 – Danny Clark, MLB, Illinois – Not a horrible pick. He played 11 years, 663 tackles, 7 sacks, and 2 INTs Would I have picked differently? – no
Round Seven/Pick #247 – Mark Baniewicz, OT, Syracuse – Two years and he never saw the field. A fitting last pick to a rollercoaster draft. Would I have picked differently? yes. Selected #254, “Mr. Irrelevant” Mike Green played 9 years. The safety put up 426 tackles, 6 sacks and 4 INTs.
Final Interesting note…While going through the draft, I noticed that there was so TRULY unusual first names of players drafted that year…Here are a few examples:
- 1st round – LaVar, Plaxico, Bubba, Deltha, Sebastian, Stockar, & Trung!
- 2nd round – Marvel, Raynoch, Kenoy, Cosey, Travares, & Jacoby!
- 3rd round – Giovanni, Darwin, Laveranues, Jujuan, & Leander!
- 4th round – Na’il, Gari, Kaulana, & Avion!
- 5th round – Tutan, Aric, Mao, Windrell, Gillis, Kabeer, Arturo, Muneer, Kiwaukee, & Tee!
- 6th round – Jabari, Dhani, Jeno, Spergon, Adalius, Leif, Robaire, Sherrod, & Jujuan (AGAIN)!!
- 7th round – Manuia, Jarious, Sekou, Orantes, Rashidi, Mondriel, Rodregis, Shyrone, DaShon, & Rondell!
- UFAs – Paris, Micah, Rian, & Adewale!
What was the point of this exercise? Well…about one fifth of the players drafted and undrafted but invited have this original names. So…I’m changing my son’s name to Hambusted…I don’t know why?!?
2000 Draft Summary and Grade – Round 1 (F-) / Round 2 (A) / Round 3 (C-) / Round 4 (F) / Round 5 (C-) / Round 6 (F) / Round 7 (B-). Totaling their entire draft, the Jaguars’ 1999 NFL draft scored a (D+). That score is typical of the Tom Coughlin drafts. I don’t know if it was bad scouting, or bad advisers. Maybe it was all on Tom. I don’t know but it is the reason that the Jags stopped being a perennial power team in the NFL. It definitely eventually cost Tom his job. I’ll be back soon with the 2001 draft.
See ya then.
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