Countdown to Jaguars Football: No. 65 and Who Has Donned it Best
In fewer than 100 days, Jacksonville Jaguars will return ... at least as things stand today.
While there is still some uncertainty surrounding the start of the NFL season, the league office has made it clear that they are planning to kick the season off on Sept. 10 and then have every other team play on Sept. 13.
By going off that timeline, we are now just 65 days from watching the Jaguars take the field against the Indianapolis Colts for the first regular season game of 2020.
In an effort to countdown to the start of the season, we will now be going from 95 through 1 to determine the best players to don the teal, black, and white for the Jaguars at each specific number.
So when considering each player has worn the No. 65 since Jacksonville's first season in 1995, who has been the most impactful? Since the team's inception, here are the players who have worn the jersey number:
- Brandon Linder: 2014-19
- Will Rackley: 2011, 2013
- Kynan Forney: 2009
- Chris Naeole: 2002-08
- Quentin Neujahr: 1998-2000
- Bronzell Miller: 1995
So, who has been the best No. 65 in Jaguars history? We took consideration and named our top-three players below:
No. 3: Quentin Neujahr
A member of Jacksonville's offensive line for three seasons, Quentin Neujahr was a valuable dept piece during the Jaguars' playoff runs in the final two years of the 1990s. Neujahr was only a full-time starter for one season, but his versatility and experience lands him on this list over others.
After appearing in just 14 games with the Baltimore Ravens in the two years combined before joining the Jaguars in 1998, Neujahr saw the best opportunities of his NFL career come his way in Jacksonville. Neujahr appeared in all 48 regular season games in his three seasons, with 16 starts coming at center in 1998. He also appeared in three postseason games for the Jaguars, giving him enough notable experience as a starter and role player to earn him a spot at No. 3.
No. 2: Brandon Linder
The current representative of No. 65, Brandon Linder is everything the Jaguars could have possibly hoped he'd become when they selected him in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Originally a guard, Linder moved to center full-time in 2016 and since has been one of the best centers in the entire AFC thanks to his consistency as both a run and pass blocker.
Linder has been seen as one of the core pieces to Jacksonville's roster for the last several years, a big reason he earned a large contract extension before his rookie contract expired. As a result, he has been named an offensive captain for the last several years. In his six seasons with the Jaguars, he has appeared and started in 70 regular season games and three postseason games, and it appears his trajectory continues to point upward as he maintains his status as one of the league's best.
No. 1: Chris Naeole
No. 1 on this list thanks to his longevity at right guard during a successful period in team history, Chris Naeole is one of the top offensive linemen to spend time in Jacksonville. He gave the Jaguars a sometimes dominant force upfront, helping them lean on Fred Taylor to spark the offense.
Named No. 25 on the Jaguars All-25 list, Naeole was a starter for Jacksonville for eight seasons, including the best years of the Jack Del Rio tenure. In eight years, Naeole appeared and started in 87 regular season games and one playoff game. While he never made the Pro Bowl as a Jaguar, he is one of the best handful of guards to ever wear a Jaguars uniform, earning him the top spot here.