Jacksonville Jaguars: 15 best running backs of all-time

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Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
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52. . RB. (2006-13). Maurice Jones-Drew. 2. player

Maurice Jones-Drew is Jaguars royalty, plain and simple. Not only is he one of the best running backs to ever don the Black and Teal, but he’s on a short list of the greatest players in franchise history. Though he has not been inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars, one has to believe his day in the North Floridian sun is coming very soon.

Jones-Drew first came to Jacksonville as a second-round pick out of UCLA in the 2006 NFL Draft. The unanimous All-American for the Bruins in the then-Pac-10 was brought in to supplement the incumbent Fred Taylor in the Jaguars backfield. Over time, he would usurp Taylor and become the team’s star player during its worst years as a franchise.

In a reserve role backing up Taylor, Jones-Drew rushed for 941 yards, 768 yards and 824 yards in his first three years in the league, respectively. Jones-Drew found the back of the end zone 34 combined times in his first three NFL seasons, in a backup role nonetheless.

By the time Jones-Drew became the Jaguars’ starter in year four in 2009, he became an elite running back for Jacksonville. He rushed for over 1,300 yards in three straight seasons from 2009 to 2011. Jones-Drew made the Pro Bowl all three of those years for Jacksonville.

In 2009, he was named a Second-Team All-Pro. As for 2010 and 2011, Jones-Drew was arguably the best running back in football, as he was named First-Team All-Pro. His best season came in 2011, as Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing attempts with 343 and rushing yards with 1,606. He also led the league in yards per game with 100.4 that fall.

Jones-Drew’s workload was massive during those three seasons. He had at least 333 touches, 1,641 all-purpose yards and seven all-purpose touchdowns in those peak years for him. Unfortunately, the quarterback situation was a mess for Jacksonville at that time.

Former head coach Jack Del Rio had lost faith in former starter David Garrard. This led to Jacksonville overdrafting and playing former Missouri Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert far too early. He busted most catastrophically in Jacksonville, though he later reinvented himself as a solid backup quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals and now the rival Tennessee Titans.

Jones-Drew would play with the Jaguars through the 2013 NFL season before signing with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent in 2104. He played eight of his nine NFL seasons with Jacksonville, setting numerous franchise records. Those include career touchdowns (81), career rushing touchdowns (68) and rushing yards in a season (1,606).