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 third 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 …
Picking the team’s best third-round pick wasn’t as clear cut as it was in Rounds 4 and 5. Several players had solid careers in the NFL and made an impact with the Jaguars, but none of them became big-time players.
Still, cornerback Aaron Beasley was pretty darn good. The Jaguars selected him with the 63rd overall pick in the 1996 draft and he went on to play nine years in the NFL, including six with the Jaguars. During his time he Jacksonville he intercepted 15 passes, forced seven fumbles, and had 7.5 sacks (including 5.0 in 2000). He started 71 of the 76 games in which he played.
Beasley also played two seasons with the New York Jets and one in Atlanta and finished his career with 24 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles.
S Chris Hudson (1995) intercepted 11 passes and forced four fumbles in a six-year NFL career, the first four of which were in Jacksonville.
LB Akin Ayodele (2002) played nine years for the Jaguars and made 553 tackles, intercepted seven passes, forced nine fumbles, and recovered 10 fumbles.
G Vince Manuwai (2003) started 105 of the 111 games in which he played in his eight seasons with the Jaguars.
Guard Anthony Cesario was the 88th overall selection in 1999 but he never played a down in the NFL because of various injuries. He also spent some time with the Miami Dolphins. Cesario died of an apparent heart attack while guiding a hunting trip in Northwest Colorado at the age of 34.
LB Eric Westmoreland (2001) played in 16 games and made five tackles in two seasons with the Jaguars.
LB Jorge Cordova (2004) totaled just six tackles in 17 games with Jacksonville and Tennessee.
DT D’Anthony Smith (2010) has just nine tackles in four seasons. He has played for the Jaguars, Seattle and Detroit.