Top 5 worst first-round draft picks of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the last 20 years
By Beau Adams
No. 3 top worst 1st-round pick in Jacksonville Jaguars since 2000: Dante Fowler Jr.
In 2015, Jacksonville was coming off another losing season, going 3-13 under coach Gus Bradly. Their receiving core was disappointing, totaling only 15 touchdowns, and their star rookie Marquise Lee spent most of his first year injured. As a result, they were in need of a solid wide receiver, and the 2015 draft was loaded with talent.
Instead of addressing that need to give freshly drafted quarterback Blake Bortles a reliable weapon, the Jags went a different route. With the third pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select the University of Florida EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. Another Gator, I see a pattern forming on this list.
Fowler injured his hamstring a few weeks after being drafted, then proceeded to spend three unproductive seasons in Jacksonville before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams for a third-round pick. Fowler piled up 14 sacks in his three seasons with the Jags and had a total AV of 6.
With the following pick, the then-Oakland Raiders used the No. 4 overall selection on Alabama star wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper immediately impacted the Raiders and was a solid weapon for a young and developing Derek Carr. He racked up 72 catches for over 1000 yards in his rookie campaign. Cooper finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. This could have been the Jaguars, Cooper was always gonna be good.
He went on to amass 8200 yards and 55 touchdowns in his eight seasons and is currently headlining the Browns' receiving corps. Cooper's approximate value from the 2015 draft is 69. That adds another -63 for GM David Caldwell.
Honorable mention to David Caldwell's first NFL draft in 2013. Caldwell and the Jags drafted Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick. The Philadelphia Eagles have laughed their way to two Super Bowls since they took tackle Lane Johnson two picks later. That's another -61 AV and potential HOF miss for Caldwell.