Allen Robinson is first Pro Bowler drafted by Jags since 2007 class


The Jacksonville Jaguars have been so bad at drafting over the past decade that only a handful of players have managed to make the Pro Bowl.

Actually, a handful is a bit generous.

Since the class of 2005, only four players drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars have gone to the Pro Bowl. Two of those players went to their first Pro Bowl in 2015 (Safety Reggie Nelson drafted in 2007, now with the Cincinnati Bengals; wide receiver Allen Robinson drafted in 2014). One of those players, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, is now retired and tight end Marcedes Lewis seems to be slowing down and may be on his last legs.

That past decade has been a rough one for the franchise, especially the years under former general manager Gene Smith (no Pro Bowlers). Smith was in charge from 2009-2012 and the Jags seemed to get worse with each passing season.

The drafts tell a similar story.

If it wasn’t for Lewis’ big 2010 season (which he never came close to replicating) and Jones-Drew’s superstar status from 2009-2011, there would likely not have been a Jags player elected to the Pro Bowl in any of those years.

The roster mismanagement over the season prior to current general manager Dave Caldwell’s time at the helm has been miserable. Those four drafted players to make the Pro Bowl since 2005 is tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only the Oakland Raiders (three) are worse at selecting Pro Bowl players in the draft sine 2005.

Compared to the Houston Texans (11), Tennessee Titans (seven), and Indianapolis Colts (six), it’s clear that the Jacksonville Jaguars are lagging behind.

Of course, not all players are judged based on who drafted them. Sure, the legendary 2010 class by the Seattle Seahawks (four Pro Bowlers) had three of them on the team when they made their respective Pro Bowls, but players can be acquired in free agency or trades, like linebacker Paul Posluszny who went to the Pro Bowl with the Jags despite being selected by the Buffalo Bills.

But it’s certainly a lot easier to build a quality roster when you can draft Pro Bowlers, thereby getting “first crack” at turning in big performances with some of the best talent available. Some teams, like the New England Patriots and even Dallas Cowboys do a better job of doing this than others (both have drafted more than 10 Pro Bowlers since 2005).

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The Jacksonville Jaguars, unfortunately, have not been one of the better teams over the last decade. Things are looking up under Caldwell, but he’s been working to turn around a poor draft culture that predated him by many years. Allen Robinson and others will be stepping up to depart from the past in coming years.