Countdown to Jaguars Football: The Most Notable Players to Wear No. 76
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 76 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. Yesterday, we tabbed Zach Wiegert as the team's best No. 77, but what about the next number?
So when considering each player has worn the No. 76 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:
- Will Richardson: 2018-2019
- Luke Joeckel: 2013-16
- Daniel Baldridge: 2010, 2012
- Richard Collier: 2006-07
- Ephraim Salaam: 2004-05
- Leander Jordan: 2002-03
- Dwayne Ledford: 2000
- Rich Tylski: 1996-99
To be frank, this isn't exactly a list that has three players worth considering as the best No. 76s in team history, so instead of ranking the players, we will talk about the most notable ones instead.
So, which No. 76s have stood out the most in Jaguars history? We examine below:
Jacksonville's current No. 76, Will Richardson, came into his own as a second-year player in 2019. Originally drafted in the fourth-round in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former collegiate right tackle spent time at both left tackle and right guard in 2019, starting the first two games of the season at tackle and rotating with A.J. Cann for the rest of the year at guard.
This year, Richardson will be moving to the left tackle spot on a full-time basis, finally giving him one singular position to focus on. Richardson held his own at left tackle last year, and it wouldn't exactly be out of the question for him to push Cam Robinson for the starting left tackle job to enter the season.
Dave Caldwell's first-ever draft pick as Jacksonville's general manager, Luke Joeckel is tied with Kevin Hardy and Tony Boselli as the team's highest draft pick in franchise history after being drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2013. With the number of holes on Jacksonville's roster at the time, it made sense for the Jaguars to address the No. 2 overall pick with the best player available strategy, though this pick simply never panned out for the Jaguars.
In Joeckel's tenure with the Jaguars, he played just four seasons and only appeared in all 16 regular season games just once. Thought to be the future of the offensive line and the long-term answer at left tackle, Joeckel started just 39 games for the Jaguars, with a handful of those coming at right tackle as a rookie. Joeckel simply never performed up to the standards and expectations set by his draft slot, and his career is one of the most uneventful of any top pick in team history.
An undrafted free agent out of Valdosta State, Richard Collier appeared in eight games and started one during his Jaguars tenure, but it was the tragic and unfortunate end to his career that is sadly most remembered today.
On Sept. 2, 2008, Collier was shot outside of an apartment in Jacksonville by Tyrone Hartsfield, who was later convicted to life in prison for attempted murder. The multiple gunshot wounds led to Collier being paralyzed from the waist down and also resulted in his left leg being amputated, prematurely ending his NFL career. In 2009, one year following the shooting, Collier was unanimously elected to receive the Ed Block Courage Award by his Jaguars teammates.