Ranking Jaguars biggest NFL Draft gems of the last decade

• The Jags have found a handful of draft gems in recent years. Here are the five best of the last decade.

Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) runs
Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) runs / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 5
Next

1. Telvin Smith, linebacker - Round 5, pick 144, 2014

Gardner Minshew was certainly an icon in Jacksonville but he didn't earn a Pro Bowl nod during his stint with the Jaguars. He eventually got one with the Colts but as an alternate, and that was after several quarterbacks had declined the invitation. That said, another draft gem made the Pro Bowl, and that was none other than linebacker Telvin Smith.

A fifth-round pick in 2014, Smith was quick to earn a featured role as a rookie, appearing in 16 games with nine starts and registering two sacks, one forced fumble, and four passes defensed. He was just getting started, and the former Florida State Seminole followed it up with an even better sophomore campaign.

By the end of 2015, Smith had established himself as a mainstay of the Jaguars' defense but his best season came in 2017, when he made the Pro Bowl on the strength of three interceptions and a fumble returned for a touchdown. The Georgia native had another productive year in 2018 but he chose to retire afterward, citing the need to get his world in order."

Not long after he hung up the cleats, Smith dealt with legal issues. Eventually, though, he hinted at a potential return to the gridiron in a cryptic message on social media but nothing happened. Beyond the post, he's stayed away from the spotlight, but that shouldn't diminish his accomplishments during his stint with the Jags, as brief as it was.

Here are more stories from Black & Teal:

feed