Countdown to Jaguars Football: No. 72 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 72 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. 72 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:
- Josh Wells: 2014-18
- Mark Asper: 2012
- Herb Taylor: 2012
- Kevin Haslam: 2010
- Tra Thomas: 2009
- Jordan Black: 2008
- Charles Spencer: 2008
- Mike Pearson: 2002-05
- Derrick Chambers: 2001
- Steve Zahursky: 2001
- Leon Searcy: 1996-2000
With this list containing mostly reserve linemen or blockers who spent just one year in Jacksonville, it could be tough to nail down a top-3. But with that said, there is a clear No. 1 who, frankly, is in his own tier.
So, who has been the best No. 72 in Jaguars history? We determine the answer here:
No. 3: Josh Wells
While Josh Wells was never anything more than a swing tackle who started in a pinch now and then, he earns a spot on this list thanks to the several years he spent on the roster bolstering the team's offensive line depth chart. Wells wasn't quite a starter-level player during his tenure, but a versatile backup lineman is always a valuable asset to a team, especially in comparison to other players on this list.
In Wells' five seasons in Jacksonville, he appeared in 39 games and started nine. His most notable contributions came during Jacksonville's run to the playoffs in 2017, a year in which he started four games in relief of both Cam Robinson and Jermey Parnell.
No. 2: Mike Pearson
While Mike Pearson never lived up to the expectations set for him after the Jaguars drafted him No. 40 overall out of Florida in the 2002 NFL Draft, he still earns a spot on this list thanks to his contributions as a starter in comparison to other plays who have worn No. 72, though he was clearly a step-down from the elite play of Tony Boselli at left tackle.
In four years in Jacksonville, Pearson started 33 games and appeared in 40, with him holding the left tackle job for the majority of his first two seasons in the league. He only started six games over his final two seasons, however.
No. 1: Leon Searcy
The best right tackle in Jacksonville Jaguars history, Leon Searcy is the clear choice for the top spot on this list. A terrific bookend across from Boselli, Searcy gave the Jaguars one of the best tackle duos in the league and easily the best in the franchise's history. Searcy made the Pro Bowl in 1999 after the Jaguars had a dominant season, and he is still known in Jacksonville today as one of the team's best-ever linemen.
In four years in Jacksonville, Searcy started and appeared in 63 regular season games, a stretch of play that occurred during the most successful years of the franchise's 25-year history. A second-team All-Pro in 1999, Searcy also started eight playoff games for Jacksonville, making him the most accomplished and established No. 72 to ever play for the Jaguars.