2) Maurice Jones-Drew (2006-2013)
The only member of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise to hold the NFL rushing title, Maurice Jones-Drew was a bonafide superstar for a team that was beginning to enter its lean years.
Coming to the Jaguars in the second-round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Jones-Drew was an immediate complementary piece to longtime starter Fred Taylor. They were able to play off each other and each provide the ability to break one open any time they touched the ball.
MJD’s ability was instantly on display. In his rookie season, Jones-Drew managed 941 yards and 13 touchdowns even with Taylor posting 1146 yards and five touchdowns as well. While short in stature, it was clear that Jones-Drew could play big.
Taylor left for the New England Patriots in 2009 and MJD was ready to shine on his own. He responded by posting three straight seasons of 1300+ yards and 28 total touchdowns. He cemented himself as a superstar with a 1606-yard season in 2011 while leading the league in rushing attempts, yards, and yards per game. MJD managed to do that despite a terrible passing game that allowed defenses to put eight men in the box to stop the run. It was a special season that is easily Jones-Drew’s career highlight.
Unfortunately, using Jones-Drew as the offense’s only weapon began to take its toll after 2011. The running back was limited to just six games in the 2012 season due to injury and he managed just 803 yards and five touchdowns when he returned in 2013. His final NFL season was spent with the Oakland Raiders where he managed just 96 yards and 2.2 yards per attempt.
Looking back at Maurice Jones-Drew’s eight years in Jacksonville is filled with highlights. From excellent pass blocking to big gains and hard fought touchdowns, Jones-Drew never failed to impress. As the lone offensive threat for much of his career, his 8071 yards and 68 touchdowns with the Jags were some of the hardest yards and touchdowns a running back had to fight for in his generation.