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Jaguars Worst 2nd-3rd Round Picks

In just a short time, the Jacksonville Jaguars are poised to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This will be the first time that the franchise has selected at this position, and hopefully for many Jaguars fans, will be the last time, as head coach Urban Meyer and the organization starts the most important draft in franchise history. The team has had 26 drafts, and as the team embarks on the 27th opportunity to bring in a new class of Jaguars players, I’ve had some thoughts about the best and worst draft picks made by this franchise. No team is perfect with their draft picks, as it is a crapshoot, but it is something that can help shape the team for years to come.

I went back and looked at every draft since the team’s first draft in 1995, and came across the best selections from each round, but also the worst. Prepare yourselves, Jaguars fans, it isn’t going to be pretty. Without further ado… Let’s continue with the worst 2nd and 3rd round picks in franchise history

10. Marqise Lee (2014 NFL Draft, Round 2, Pick 39)

Marqise Lee was the first receiver selected for the team in this draft. Unfortunately for him, the next receiver selected (Allen Robinson) and undrafted free agent signing Allen Hurns were better players for the Jaguars than Lee was. Even though he was the worst of the 3 receivers, the Jaguars rewarded Lee with a contract extension instead of Robinson, which made many fans upset. After that, Robinson left town, and Lee then suffered a severe knee injury and never really made an impact for the Jaguars. Due to the injuries and poor production in comparison to his teammates, he earns a spot on this list.

Lee also opted out of the 2020 season with the Pats.

9. Michael Cheever (1996 NFL Draft, Round 2, Pick 60)

I almost left Michael Cheever off the list, but unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game. Cheever played only 17 games in Jacksonville and started six of them as the team’s starting center. Cheever was forced to retire after 2 seasons of playing football due to a back injury.

8. Johnathan Cyprien (2013 NFL Draft, Round 2, Pick 33)

2013 was an all around terrible draft class. Cyprien was supposed to be the first piece of a revamped secondary; instead he proved to be replaceable after year 2. Cyprien missed only 4 games during his time as a Jaguar, and while he was always playing on Sundays, some Jaguars fans, including myself, wished he wasn’t playing. He was consistently around the ball...but never doing what you wanted him to. Missing tackles was his forte. He was someone that opposing teams would take advantage of. Cyprien will always be remembered for pointing to the sky after making a tackle...30 yards downfield...after the opponent gets a first down... all while the Jaguars were down 24 points.

Too busy pointing at the sky to make tackles.

7. James Hamilton (1997 NFL Draft, Round 3, Pick 79)

Much like Michael Cheever, Hamilton was someone who was bit by the injury bug. Hamilton was taken as a linebacker to pair with Kevin Hardy and make for a incredibly talented defense, especially after the 1996 run. Hamilton only played 16 games as a Jaguar and never earned a start. He never played a down after the 1997 season.

6. Jorge Cordova (2004 NFL Draft, Round 3, Pick 86)

Jorge Cordova was drafted in 2004, but unfortunately did not play his first snap for the team until 2 years later in the 2006 season. Cordova, a linebacker, tore his ACL in his rookie training camp and then reaggravated it during his second preseason. He had some potential coming out of Nevada, but unfortunately injuries derailed his career, much like many others on this list.

5. Andre Branch (2012 NFL Draft, Round 2, pick 38)

The 2012 draft might have been just as bad as 2013. After selecting Justin Blackmon in the 1st round the team went and tried to address the pass rush by selecting Andre Branch. Branch was a very inconsistent player for the Jaguars. In his 4 seasons, he only accumulated 14 sacks, which is…not very good. After the 4 years, he went on to play a few more years in the NFL.

4. Cordell Taylor (1998 NFL Draft, Round 2, Pick 57)

After selecting Donovin Darius in the 1st round, the Jaguars selected another defensive back in Cordell Taylor. Taylor only played 11 games for the team and he was traded the next offseason to the Seahawks. When he was on the Seahawks, he only played two games then never played a down again. When someone gets traded a year after being selected, they earn a spot on this list.

Searching his name on Google gave me an artist before him. Yikes.

3. Dwayne Gratz (2013 NFL Draft, Round 3, Pick 64)

Along with Johnathan Cyprien, Dwayne Gratz was selected to help the rebuild of the defense, and to be one of the new faces of the cornerback room. He was anything but helpful for the rebuild. After moving on from Jaguars legend Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, and Aaron Ross, Gratz was one of many additions that offseason to help rebuild the cornerback room. He wasn’t good at all as he started 25 games through 3 and a quarter seasons in Jacksonville. He was released during his 4th season and bounced around the league. I will always remember him for trying to purchase items from a Miami Beach store with bubble gum because he was THAT drunk.

2. Quentin Groves (2008 NFL Draft, Round 2, Pick 52)

After trading up and selecting Derrick Harvey in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Jaguars doubled down on pass rushers and whiffed. Groves and Harvey were expected to be the next dominant pass rush duo. They were anything but. If it wasn’t for the draft capital that it took to acquire Harvey, Groves may be a bigger bust out of the two. Groves played two seasons for Jacksonville, and was then traded to Oakland, where he then bounced around the league. In those 32 games he played, he produced only 2.5 sacks. The 2008 draft class was terrible and it was in large part to Groves and Harvey.

1. Bryan Anger (2012 NFL Draft, Round 3, Pick 10)

Everyone knows the narrative behind this selection. If you don’t, well enjoy this. The Jaguars drafted a punter in the 3rd round. They took Bryan Anger over players that would have improved the team such as Olivier Vernon, Russell Wilson, Brandon Brooks, Demario Davis, T.Y. Hilton, Kirk Cousins, Malik Jackson, Josh Norman. Those players all contributed to the teams that selected them. The most notable player the Jaguars selected Anger over was Russell Wilson, but the Jaguars seemed committed to Blaine Gabbert, their first round pick from the year before. Unfortunately, fans of other teams and media personnel pointed this glaring mistake for years after the selection. When he was selected over a Super Bowl winning quarterback in his second season (Wilson), it locked up Anger as the worst 2nd or 3rd round pick made by the franchise. More than likely, it will be the worst selection for years to come. Absolutely inexcusable.

The conclusion of this 5 part series - the best and worst 4th-7th round draft picks, & best undrafted free agents - drops Wednesday, 4/28. Is Mike’s list accurate? What would you change? Tweet at us (@dimesonduval) or find us on Facebook or Instagram and drop your thoughts!

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