Marcedes Lewis named Jacksonville Jaguars' best first-round bargain since 2000

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis (89) reacts against
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis (89) reacts against / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars struck out several times in the draft throughout the 2000s. However, they managed to land tight end Marcedes Lewis at No. 26 in 2006. After 17 productive seasons, Lewis still has a bit of gas left in the tank, which is why Barry Wilner of The 33rd Team deservedly named him the Jags' best first-round bargain since 2000.

Wilner drew up a list of every NFL team's best "bargain" first-round selection. Although underrated might have been a better term, there's no doubt Lewis had a huge impact in Jacksonville and most recently for the Green Bay Packers. Wilner says that defensive tackle Marcus Stroud also deserved consideration for the spot but the former UCLA Bruin ended up getting the nod, citing his outstanding blocking skills and his longevity as the reasons.

"DT Marcus Stroud got consideration here but we'll give the love to one of the best blocking tight ends the NFL has seen. Indeed, Marcedes Lewis was still in the league last year and no less a quarterback regularly praised him. Lewis has made his share of receptions, 375 for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and another 57 for the Packers. He has 39 career TDs. His forte is his force as a protector and in the run game, as good as anybody."

Even though Lewis caught more than 50 passes in a season once in his career, he was one of the best players on a Jaguars offense that often lacked playmakers in the early 2010s. After a 12-year stint in Jacksonville, he signed with the Green Bay Packers, where he spent the last five seasons.

Lewis is currently a free agent but there's no indication he plans to retire. Given that he was still productive in 2022, there's a chance he will return for an 18th NFL season.

Marcedes Lewis is one of the top tight ends in Jacksonville Jaguars history

The Jaguars haven't precisely been a pipeline of talent over the last 20 years but they have managed to produce a few stars and Lewis is one of them. Heck, you could even make the case that he's the best tight end in team history. Even though Kyle Brandt held most of the franchise records at the position before Evan Engram broke them last year, Lewis had a more productive stint in Jacksonville.

Granted, Lewis' main contribution for the Jaguars was as a blocker and it's true that he didn't rack up high receiving numbers but that shouldn't diminish his impact. Sure, he only made one Pro Bowl in his career and he alone wasn't going to propel the Jaguars into the playoffs. However, he came through when called upon, which can't be said about many of the other first-round picks the Jags drafted in the late 2000s.

Lewis is in the twilight of his career, one that won't end in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, that doesn't take away his contributions as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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