4 former Jaguars land on 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame preliminary ballot
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced their preliminary ballot for the 2020 class on Thursday, and four former Jacksonville Jaguars found themselves among the 122 modern era players named to the list.
Offensive tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Jimmy Smith and running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew were named to the list, each of which is unsurprising.
Boselli was one of the NFL's truly elite tackles from 1995-2001, proving that the Jaguars first-ever draft pick was an absolute home run. He made the Pro Bowl in five of his first six seasons and was an All-Pro from 1997 through 1999. And despite only playing for half of the decade, he was placed on the NFL All-Decade team for the 1990's. He has came closer in recent years to becoming enshrined in Canton than he used to, and this year may be the year.
Smith put up video game numbers with the Jaguars despite playing in an era before the passing game was featured as prominently as it is now. He is the NFL's 21st all-time leader in receiving yards with 12,287 yards. His 67 receiving touchdowns as a Jaguar is 34 more than the next player, and his 12,287 yards nearly double the Jaguar with the most yards after him.
Taylor is one of the most, if not the most, underrated candidates for the hall of fame year in and year out. He is still heralded along with Boselli as one of the best players in team history after amassing 13,632 total yards and 70 touchdowns in his career, with the vast majority of those coming with Jacksonville. He is the all-time leading rusher in franchise history with 11,271 yards, more than 3,000 more than the back behind him.
The man who formed a lethal backfield duo with Taylor and eventually replaced him as the team's bellcow back was Jones-Drew, who proved to be one of the team's most exciting and versatile players ever despite playing on some of the franchise's worst performing offenses. He is the team's second all-time leading rusher with 8,071 yards, and actually rushed for more touchdowns (68) than Taylor did (62) in Jacksonville.