Reviewing the last five first-round selections by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL draft


Taking a look back at the recent top choices by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL draft.

It is finally here. The months of mock drafts flooding NFL sites will soon be over as draft week is officially upon us. On Thursday night, teams will write down and hand in the name of a prospect that is expected to improve the franchise for the years to come.

For the 2018 Jacksonville Jaguars, the wait to turn in that card in the first round is much longer than in previous years. After consistent years of top five picks, Jacksonville has flipped the script and will be at the 29th spot in round one.

But before we focus in on the forthcoming new additions of the team, let’s take a look back at the last five first-round selections by Jaguars, which has brought both success and failure:

2013- LT Luke Joeckel, 2nd overall

Taking an offensive lineman in the first round is never a sexy pick, especially all the way at pick two. But in Luke Joeckel, the Jaguars had what they thought would be the anchor on the line the team needed at left tackle. But the selection quickly turned out to be a crashing thud. Joeckel constantly battled injuries in his Jacksonville tenure, but even when on the field, never came close to the potential of a second overall pick. The left tackle is easily the biggest miss of this group, and has since moved on to the Seattle Seahawks.

2014- QB Blake Bortles, 3rd overall

Four years into the Blake Bortles era, the jury is still out on defining the success or failure of this pick. The Bortles experience has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride, but the problem has been too many lows accompanying the highs. Bortles led the Jaguars to the AFC championship game in 2017, and was granted a new contract this offseason, but 2018 is the undoubted make or break year for the quarterback. While generally hated on more than deserved, it is an absolute must for Bortles to reach the level of productivity that is needed from a dependable signal caller. Next season will officially be the time to call it what it is, and what that is will ultimately be up to the man himself.

2015- DE Dante Fowler Jr., 3rd overall

Another bumpy ride whose window for being labeled a success is rapidly closing. Dante Fowler Jr. missed all of his rookie season after a knee injury in camp, and in two seasons on the field has shown flashes of explosiveness, but overall has lacked any form of consistency. On a stacked Jaguars defensive line, Fowler is not much more than a rotational player, and in actuality, has been vastly overshadowed by 2016 third-round selection Yannick Ngakoue.

As recent as a few days ago, GM Dave Caldwell has said no decision on Fowler’s 2019 contract option has been made. 2018 will be a crucial season as well for the edge rusher.

2016- CB Jalen Ramsey, 5th overall

In the realm of ‘boom or bust’, this is as booming as a selection can get. Jalen Ramsey is a bonafide superstar after only two seasons. The young defensive back has already garnered All-Pro accolades, and is the textbook definition of a shutdown corner. The Jaguars struck gold, as first round picks don’t get much better than Jalen Ramsey.

2017- RB Leonard Fournette, 4th overall

Another youngster whose arrow is pointing way up. In his rookie season, Leonard Fournette amassed 1,000 on the ground and scored 13 rushing touchdowns, despite missing two games. Fournette is as advertised, and with the improvements on the offensive line already, should only continue to bully opposing defenses in a run heavy Jaguars offense. There is many a debate on selecting a running back that early in the draft in today’s game, but Leonard Fournette is already proving to be a valuable selection.