Jacksonville Jaguars: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville Jaguars
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

8. player. 52. . CB. (2003-12). Rashean Mathis

  • 1x Pro Bowl, 1x First-Team All-Pro (2006)
  • Franchise leader in interceptions (30), interception return yards (512)
  • Most career passes defended (99), defensive touchdowns (3)

While we may end up claiming both A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey as the two greatest defensive backs in Jaguars history one day, the body of work put together by cornerback Rashean Mathis cannot be denied. It’s probably remarkable in all honesty that the Jacksonville native would go on to be the Jaguars’ greatest defensive back in franchise history up to this point.

Mathis starred in at Englewood High School in both football and baseball. While he did garner some scholarships as a centerfielder for college, Mathis would have to go to Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach to refine his football talents.

His hometown Jaguars would use the No. 39 pick overall on Mathis in the 2003 NFL Draft. After spending his rookie season at safety, Mathis would find himself as the starting cornerback in the Jaguars defense for a decade.

His best season would come in 2006 when he made his lone trip to the Pro Bowl. Mathis had a career-high interceptions for 146 yards, helping him make the All-Pro first team. Simply put, Mathis was synonymous with defensive excellence in the Jaguars defensive backfield for the entire Jack Del Rio era in North Florida.

Whether it was Mike Smith or Mel Tucker calling the shots on defense, Mathis was ready to go to work just about every Sunday. This allowed him to end up the franchise leader in interceptions (30), interception return yardage (512), passes defended (99) and defensive touchdowns (3).

Had Mathis played his entire NFL career with the Jaguars, he’d probably be in the Pride of the Jaguars already. However, he did spend his final three NFL seasons playing at a high level for the Detroit Lions before retiring after the 2015 campaign.