Have the Jacksonville Jaguars Ever Held the NFL Draft’s No. 1 Pick?

Part of why the Jacksonville Jaguars remain one of football’s longest-suffering franchises involves their lack of success in the NFL draft.

For every Tony Boselli or Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville has previously used top-10 picks on the likes of Blaine Gabbert, Derrick Harvey, and Justin Blackmon. However, the 2021 NFL draft presents an opportunity for the Jaguars to change their luck, especially if they select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will pick first in the 2021 NFL draft

The Jacksonville Jaguars logo in 2020.
The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. | James Gilbert/Getty Images

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Being among the NFL’s worst teams has its benefits — unless one is the Houston Texans.

The Jacksonville Jaguars opened the 2020 season with an upset victory over Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. Despite entering the season with extremely low expectations, the Jaguars immediately ensured they would not go 0-16.

Either fortunately or unfortunately for the Jaguars, they also wouldn’t win again. Jacksonville ended the season at 1-15, and Urban Meyer replaced Doug Marrone as the head coach.

The 2020 season wasn’t a total failure in Jacksonville, however. Undrafted rookie running back James Robinson burst onto the scene and ran for 1,070 yards. Another rookie, Laviska Shenault Jr., had a team-high 58 catches and contributed 600 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.

Much like the Texans, the Jaguars finished with one of the season’s worst records. And unlike the Texans, who went 4-12 with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, Jacksonville had its first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Jacksonville is expected to select Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence

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In a way, the Jacksonville Jaguars arguably won by losing. At least, that will be the case if all goes to plan with Trevor Lawrence.

Lawrence, the star quarterback from Clemson, has long been appointed as the 2021 NFL draft’s No. 1 pick. If the Jaguars go through and select Lawrence, they will have added a franchise quarterback and who draft analysts believe is a generational player.

Although the Jaguars can, in theory, trade down and acquire more draft picks, all signs point to the new regime selecting Lawrence. In a March interview with NBC Sports, Jaguars coach Urban Meyer even said as much to Peter King.

“I’d have to say that’s the direction we’re going. I’ll leave that up to the owner when we make that decision official. But I’m certainly not stepping out of line that that’s certainly the direction we’re headed.”

Meyer attended Lawrence’s Pro Day in March. Cameras caught Meyer standing extremely close to Lawrence as the top prospect worked out.

Have the Jaguars ever had the NFL draft’s top pick?

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Barring an unexpected trade, the Jacksonville Jaguars will make history when the 2021 NFL draft begins.

This year is the first time that Jacksonville has held and used the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars have had the No. 2 pick on three different occasions, though. 

  • Jacksonville used the No. 2 pick on USC offensive tackle Tony Boselli in 1995. Boselli, the first draftee in Jaguars history, made five Pro Bowl appearances and earned first-team All-Pro honors three times from 1995 through 2001. 
  • A year later, the Jaguars invested the second overall selection on Illinois linebacker Kevin Hardy. Hardy totaled 504 tackles and 28.5 sacks in six seasons with the Jaguars. He earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors following the 1999 season. 
  • Most recently, Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel was the second overall pick in 2013. Joeckel lasted four seasons and made 39 starts with the Jaguars. He last played in 2017, starting 11 games at left guard for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks

The Jaguars had two first-round picks in 2020. C.J. Henderson, the ninth overall selection, had one interception, a forced fumble, and six pass deflections in eight games. Jacksonville selected K’Lavon Chaisson at No. 20, and Chaisson had a sack in 16 games and three starts. 

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