Countdown to Jaguars Football: The Most Notable Players to Wear No. 75
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 75 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. 75 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:
- Jawaan Taylor: 2019
- Ereck Flowers: 2018
- Jared Odrick: 2015-16
- Drake Nevis: 2013
- Eugene Monroe: 2009-13
- Stefan Rodgers: 2008
- Marcellus Wiley: 2005-06
- Michael Mason: 2000
- Eric Curry: 1998-99
So when considering each of the Jaguars who have worn No. 75, who has stood out the most among the rest? We debate here.
No. 3: Jared Odrick
While Jared Odrick's two-year tenure with the Jaguars wasn't quite as successful as the team likely hoped when they signed him to a multi-year contract as an unrestricted free agent in the 2015 offseason, he still had a more notable career with the Jaguars than most others on this list.
Signed to play the 'big end' role in Jacksonville's defense, Odrick appeared and started in 22 games over two seasons. He flashed plenty of ability in his first season in Jacksonville, recording 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss, but his second year was derailed by injuries and he finished his Jaguars career with just 6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and nine quarterback hits. While Odrick didn't have the type of career in Jacksonville that was hoped for, he still had a mildly impressive 2015 season despite the team's defense being arguably the worst in the league.
No. 2: Jawaan Taylor
Yes, Jawaan Taylor has only spent one season as a Jaguar, but he finds himself on this list in part because of his strong play as a rookie and in part because of his potential moving forward. Widely regarded as a first-round prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft, the former Florida right tackle slipped to the second round and the Jaguars made the bold but necessary move to trade up for the talented player.
All Taylor did was repay the Jaguars with 16 starts as a rookie, playing every single offensive snap and being named to the all-rookie team. Taylor was arguably the best rookie offensive lineman in the NFL in 2019, and his projection moving forward is increasingly encouraging considering his few issues, such as penalties, are relatively fixable. Taylor has the talent to not only anchor the right side of Jacksonville's offensive line, but to potentially be among the best right tackles in the league.
"He’s long, he’s athletic and he plays with the tenacity that you love from a tackle. I am very excited to get to work with him at right tackle. He can run, he can pull, he can get out there on screens, he’s physical in the running game and he can pass protect, he’s got great feet," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said in May.
"He’s got every quality that you want in an offensive tackle and the more experience he gets and handing some of the movement up front, the better he’s going to be. I think that he’s one of the best right tackles in the game athletically and the more he plays and the more he sees, the better he is going to get."
No. 1: Eugene Monroe
Arguably the second-best left tackle in franchise history, Eugene Monroe is also one of the Jaguars' better first-round picks in the last plus-decade. Jacksonville invested the No. 8 overall pick on Monroe in the 2009 NFL Draft following a dominant career at Virginia, and Monroe then went on the provide the Jaguars with largely consistent play on the blind side before he was traded to Baltimore following the selection of Luke Joeckel in 2013.
In a little more than four seasons in Jacksonville, Monroe appeared in 65 games and started 62 of those at left tackle, giving the Jaguars aq left tackle who, while not elite, was more than serviceable. Monroe was never a top-tier offensive tackle but he was frequently one of the Jaguars' best players during his tenure, earning him his spot on the list.