Which current Jaguars are amongst the best of all time in Jacksonville?
By David Levin
In the 25th year of their existence in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars website has come up with a list of the 25 best players of all time. Would any current Jaguars make the cut?
To celebrate their 25th year in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars, through Jaguars.com, have come up with their top 25 players of all time, as part of a daily feature on the team’s website. So far, the organization has recognized Chris Naeole, Joel Smeenge, David Garrard and Gary Walker as former greats from seasons past.
As the franchise counts down to the No. 1 pick, which should be left tackle Tony Boselli (I don’t think this is considered a spoiler), I was thinking out loud and talking with some of my friends who follow the team which players on the current roster would have a chance to be considered on a list like this in a decade or so.
The names that were discussed weren’t many and judging by the production of this roster, which is still young, mixed with solid veteran talent, there could be a surprise or two, but that’s about it. The 2017 Jaguars caught lightning in a bottle and shocked the NFL with their stinging defense and powerful run game. But to think there are many players from that roster who would be considered the “best of the best” might be a bit “reaching”.
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Here are a few thoughts on who could already be counted on this list. I would love to hear what you, the reader, think about this type of story.
Calais Campbell – Can we say another free agent has had the kind of impact on this franchise the way Calais Campbell has had in just two short seasons? Keenan McCardell? Yes, he will be among the top 25. Besides Smeenge and Tony Brackens, what other pass rushers from the past are worthy?
Campbell has 25 sacks in two seasons, is a Pro Bowl performer in 2017 and 2018 and was the leader of this defense, hands down. He is one of the most respected players in the locker room and opposing offenses must game plan for him.
Yannick Ngakoue – There have been few in franchise history who have played this game with the same kind of intensity as Yannick Ngakoue. To grab a player in the third round out of Maryland and see the kind of ferocity he brings to the pass rush is a testament to the type of player he has become.
We don’t need to stress the obvious. Ngakoue needs to get paid. After three seasons and 29.5 sacks and the ability to strip-sack the quarterback at will – it’s something many pass rushers cannot master. Ngakoue and Josh Allen could be the premier defensive end duo in the NFL for years to come.
Jalen Ramsey – There is no doubt if the Jaguars were to come up with a list that included players on the roster today, Ramsey would be in the top-five. For everything we write about that could be considered negative, Jalen Ramsey is the best defensive back to play in a Jaguars uniform.
Ramsey has size, speed and the agility to make big plays against the NFL’s greatest wide receivers. Watching him and Houston DeAndre Hopkins might be the premier matchup in the league. He also has the ability to hit a receiver the way Jack Tatum did for the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s.
There aren’t any players on offense I can add to this list. Maybe after this season, the names will change. But for now, this is probably as good as it’s going to get.