Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 most underrated of all time
By Jesse Overby
The Jacksonville Jaguars have had many good players to come through this city over the years, but which ones are the most underrated of all time?
It came out to1689. That’s how many times a name is listed on the Jacksonville Jaguars rosters in their history. That includes the active roster, reserves, and practice squad. When you break that down into individuals you get 859 players over 25 years.
So how do you get to the 5 Most Underrated Jaguars Ever? You have to rule out 854 players, that’s how.
To start, I eliminated all those that could not be underrated. Mark Brunell. Tony Boselli. Jimmy Smith. Fred Taylor. John Henderson. Marcus Stroud. And many more. But that still leaves several hundred players.
What to do next? Sorry punters.
Kickers often are underrated, but when a kicker is the Jaguars’ all-time leading scorer he can’t be underrated. Josh Scobee is off the list. Unfortunately, he takes all the other kickers with him.
Where are we? Wow, that’s still several hundred players. Okay, what do I do now?
If they only played three years they’re gone. Not because they might not be underrated, but because there are so many left who played longer and could also be underrated. Even after those cuts, we have a few hundred left.
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Why did I agree to do this? Masochistic? Glutton for punishment? Not very bright? Maybe. But my first thought was: “How hard could this be?” Maybe ‘not very bright’ is the right answer. On we go.
Justin Blackmon was on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster for eight years. Yeah, right. Goodbye!
David Garrard? He wasn’t underrated, he was underutilized. It wasn’t his fault that Jack Del Rio was the head coach, drafted Byron Leftwich, and kept him off the field for over three years. Sorry, David – both for dropping you off this list, but more importantly for not getting to see you lead the team for those other three years. You were too good to be underrated.
And the other quarterbacks go with him. I seriously thought about keeping Blake Bortles on the list (and I can give you a very good argument why) but the point is to have fans actually read my articles. So….
Next up are the premium positions where the players didn’t have premium careers. Wide Receivers – gone. All were either too good or not good enough. Almost all the running backs and tight ends didn’t make the cut either.
How about the defense?
Defensive backs? The Jaguars have had a few very good ones. Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Beasley, Donovin Darius, Rashean Mathis. But it seems they were all either too good to be underrated or not good enough to be underrated. Sorry guys, but you’re gone.
Linebackers. Some more good players but just like other positions, they were either not underrated or not good enough either.
Defensive lineman. Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Tyson Alualu, Terrance Knighton. Most of them are cut.
Where does that leave us? 25 names. Okay, I can work with that.
The last 20 off the list – Tyson Alualu, Aaron Beasley, Bortles ( I told you I could make a good argument), Donovin Darius, Rich Griffith, Kevin Hardy, Chad Henne, Brandon Linder, Rashean Mathis, Brad Meester, Pete Mitchell, Chris Naeole, Montell Owens, Mike Peterson, Tyler Shatley, Daryl Smith, Paul Spicer, LeBrandon Toefield, Maurice Williams, and George Wrighster.
That leaves us with our 5 Most Underrated Jaguars Ever.
Kyle Brady, Tight End
Kyle Brady played seven years for the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he didn’t put up big numbers, he was durable and a very good blocker for teams that featured both Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Uche Nwaneri, Guard
Uche Nwaneri also played seven years and after his rookie season was the starter for his remaining six years with the team. That’s the kind of consistency that is needed on the offensive line.
Vince Manuwai, Guard
Vince Manuwai played eight years, starting every game from his rookie season on until injuring his ACL & MCL. Another model of consistency for the Jacksonville Jaguars and a leader on the offensive line.
Greg Jones, Fullback
He was used often in his first two years with the team and was very productive from the fullback position. After injuring his ACL in the preseason and missing his third year, Greg Jones was productive again in year four. Then, for some reason, he was used very little in his last five years with the team, although he was a great blocker for Maurice Jones-Drew.
Rob Meier, Defensive Tackle
He was the number one overall draft pick in 1999 – In the Canadian Football League draft. The next year, in the NFL draft, the Jaguars selected him in the seventh round, pick number 241 overall (15 spots from being last). But he turned out to be a very good pick for Jacksonville.
Although Rob Meier was a backup lineman (John Henderson and Marcus Stroud were the starters), he was a backup and played every defensive line position – and he did it for 10 years. His reliability and versatility make him the most underrated Jaguar of all time.