Jaguars’ 2012 Draft Class One of the Worst in the Last 10 Years


Despite only accumulating 7 wins in the last 2 season, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell appears to be making strong draft picks that should help stabilize this franchise in the long term. It’s a breath of fresh air after just barely surviving what was one of the worst 4 year stretches in the history of the NFL.

Former Jaguars GM Gene Smith managed to put together a handful of completely indefensible draft classes. While there are plenty to choose from, his final draft class in 2012 might be one of the worst ever.

Unsurprisingly, Smith’s 2012 draft came up in Jim Reineking’s recent post for about the 5 worst draft classes of the last 10 years. Smith’s 2012 class was the 3rd worst:

"3. 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars» Draft class: WR Justin Blackmon (Round 1), DE Andre Branch (Round 2), P Bryan Anger (Round 3), LB Brandon Marshall (Round 5), CB Mike Harris (Round 6), DT Jeris Pendleton (Round 7)» Players who were primary starters: 2» Total games played: 167Running concurrently with the Seahawks’ epic draft hauls of 2010-12was the Jaguars’ grisly three-year draft haul that shepherded the three-year run of top-three first-round draft spots that followed.We will pick on the 2012 draft class because that was the year that the Jaguars selected a punter in the third round. Anger, however, did lead the league in yards per punt in 2014. Branch, meanwhile, has 10 career sacks.Looking to give 2011 first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert a major weapon to utilize in the passing game, the Jaguars took Blackmon with the No. 5 overall selection in 2012. Three years later, Gabbert was gone and Blackmon was absent. Blackmon’s absence from the playing field is most troubling. After starting 14 games and compiling 865 yards and five touchdowns receiving in his rookie season, Blackmon hasn’t played since Week 8 of the 2013 season after multiple suspensions due to violations of the league’s substance abuse policy."

The Jaguars still have 2 players from this draft class on the roster (Anger and Branch), but neither player has garnered praise for their play. Justin Blackmon’s career so far has been a disappointment, but it had nothing to do with his play on the field. The best player from this class is probably Brandon Marshall, but he’s excelling for the Denver Broncos instead of the Jaguars.

Is this draft class really worse than the 2011 class headlined by Blaine Gabbert, Will Rackley and Chris Prosinski? No, not really. The 2012 draft sticks out because Smith notoriously chose a punter just before Super Bowl winning quarterback Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. It’s comical and depressing in retrospect, but it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds since so many other teams passed on Wilson as well.

Thankfully, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any of Caldwell’s draft classes on a list like this in the future.

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