1) Jimmy Smith (1995-2005)
Jimmy Smith’s story is so entwined with the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars that it is impossible to talk about the team’s success without talking about Smith. McCardell was influential in his time with the Jags, but Smith had a decade to shape the team’s entire history.
No Jags wide receiver has been as productive as Smith. With 11 seasons under his belt in Jacksonville, Smith produced 12287 yards and 67 touchdowns. His five receptions per game are second in team history (behind McCardell) and his 71.9 yards per game rank first. He made the Pro Bowl five times and led the league in receptions in 1999 with 116.
From 1996 to 2005, Smith recorded 1000 receiving yards every season except 2003 when he missed four games. To say that he was dominant would be to overlook just how smooth he was as a route runner and how he could pinpoint the ball with ease against any defender.
During Smith’s 11-year tenure with the Jaguars only Marvin Harrison had more receiving yards (12331 to 12287). Smith also boasted an impressive 8.4 yards per target (sixth best in those 11 years).
Smith was instrumental in turning the Jaguars around. From a fledgling franchise going through the typical bumps of a new franchise to a powerhouse in the late 1990s, Smith was a key player that the team could rally around. He was a constant for a team that desperately needed someone to lead them.
Together with Fred Taylor, Mark Brunell, and McCardell, Smith was able to form a key nucleus on offense that made the Jaguars a real team on the NFL stage. Without Smith, the entire Jags story could be different.