JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The upcoming NFL draft will be the 20th in Jacksonville Jaguars' history, not counting the expansion draft.
To commemorate that milestone, I’m looking back at each draft and giving you the best and worst selections in each round. Today is the sixth round and the first round will appear on Tuesday, April 15 -- appropriate since that’s the day taxes are due and first-rounders make the most money.
These rankings are based on what the player did with the Jaguars. If they failed to produce with the Jaguars but had success somewhere else -- whether they left as free agents, were cut and caught on somewhere else, or traded -- that’s a negative.
I’m expecting some disagreement, which is fine. Your feedback is welcomed (click the email link at the bottom), and I’m going to post some of the best comments (read: those without profanity) on April 16.
Here we go ...
This wasn’t that easy because the Jaguars have had less success in the sixth round in their history than they have had in the seventh. Only five of 15 players selected in the sixth round from 1995-2008 lasted more than three years in the NFL. That’s slim pickings but there were a few options.
It’s arguable, but the best sixth-round pick in franchise history played only two seasons with the Jaguars. Running back/kick returner Deji Karim, the first of the team’s two sixth-round picks in 2010, ran for 290 yards and returned 77 kickoffs in 2010-11. His best season was his rookie season, when he rushed for 160 yards and averaged 25.0 yards on 50 kickoff returns.
The Jaguars released Karim in April 2012 and he signed with Indianapolis. He played in three games for the Colts and returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown against Houston. He signed with the Texans following the 2012 season but was waived in the final cuts. He returned to the team in late October because of injuries to Arian Foster and Ben Tate and had 12 carries, one catch, and five kickoff returns in seven games.
Fullback Daimon Shelton (1997) played the first four years of his nine-year career with the Jaguars. He had 39 of his 40 career carries and 26 of his 82 career receptions in Jacksonville. He missed only five games in four seasons with the Jaguars.
Tight end Zach Miller (2009) caught 45 passes for 470 yards and four touchdowns in three seasons with the Jaguars. He battled injuries throughout his career with the Jaguars and did not play in the NFL in 2012 and 2013. He recently signed a reserves/futures contract with Chicago.
Much like I did with the seventh-round pick on Monday, it’s really not fair to label any sixth-round selection as the worst pick in that round because sixth-round picks aren’t supposed to make the team anyway. I’m kind of changing the criteria a little bit and choosing from the players who played at least two seasons in the NFL. And by play I mean actually got on the field and didn’t just hold a roster spot.
Basically I’m choosing from players who did little while with the Jaguars but had more success elsewhere. That’s probably not fair, but otherwise I’d just be listing the guys who were drafted and then cut.
That being said, the worst sixth-round pick is receiver Chad Owens (2005). He was drafted to help the Jaguars’ return game but muffed two punts in the preseason and was cut after the first game of the 2005 season after muffing three punts. He was re-signed to the practice squad a few days later.
Owens played in four games in 2006 and only one in 2007. That was against Houston in the regular-season finale and he also muffed a punt. He was cut a month later.
Offensive tackle Marcus Price (1995) had a 10-year career in which he played in 77 games (10 starts), but he was in Jacksonville for only one year and never appeared in a game.