Jacksonville Jaguars: 15 best running backs of all-time

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James Stewart, Jacksonville Jaguars
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52. . RB. (1995-99). James Stewart. 3. player

James Stewart was one of the Jaguars’ first-ever draft selections. He was the second first-round pick by expansion Jacksonville in 1995, as the Jaguars used their No. 19 overall pick on the former Tennessee Volunteers tailback.

Stewart had an excellent eight-year NFL career split between the Jaguars and the Detroit Lions. While he rushed for over 1,000 yards twice in Detroit, Stewart is best remembered for his ball carrying abilities during his first five years in the league with Jacksonville.

Stewart was a solid rotational running back his first few years in the league. Though he never rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season with Jacksonville, he was instrumental in the Jaguars’ first two trips to the AFC Championship Game in 1996 and 1999, respectively.

In 1996, Stewart rushed for 723 yards and eight touchdowns on 190 carries in 13 ball games. He also added 177 receiving yards through the air on 30 catches for two touchdowns. The next season saw Stewart set a pair of franchise records against the 1997 Philadelphia Eagles.

Stewart found pay dirt five times on the ground versus Philadelphia. Those five rushing touchdowns, as well as those 30 points scored for the Jaguars remain franchise records. However, he only had 136 carries for 555 yards and eight touchdowns all season in 1997.

1998 was a forgettable year for Stewart, as he only had 217 yards and two touchdowns in three games. However, he would bounce back with his best year in Jaguars uniform in 1999. Interestingly enough, that would be his last year down in Duval County.

Stewart had 249 carries for 931 yards and 13 touchdowns in 1999, all where personal bests for him with the Jaguars. Jacksonville would go 14-2 that regular season, but fell to the rival Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship.

Stewart spent his final three NFL seasons with the Lions, where he rushed for 2,890 yards and 15 touchdowns in 41 games. In five years with the Jaguars, Stewart had 2,951 rushing yards on 765 carries for 33 touchdowns. Overall, Stewart remains firmly the third best running back in Jaguars football history. The only shame is that he never made it to 1,000 yards in a season for the Black and Teal.