Maurice Jones-Drew served as — and still is — a reminder that Jacksonville Jaguars get to experience happiness once in a while.
Before the Leonard Fournette experiment failed and the Jaguars tore it down everything, Jacksonville fans witnessed ‘MJD’ and his greatness every weekend.
Jones-Drew was often the lone bright spot the Jacksonville Jaguars sent onto the field. Where is the former All-Pro running back now?
Maurice Jones-Drew played nine NFL seasons
A unanimous All-American running back at UCLA in 2005, Maurice Jones-Drew slipped to the 60th overall pick in 2005. How is that possible?
Teams were concerned about his size — Jones-Drew stood 5 feet, 7 inches, which may have been a generous measurement — and how that would translate to the NFL.
Jacksonville lucked out and drafted the shifty running back to partner with Fred Taylor. Jones-Drew ran for 941 yards and 13 touchdowns as a rookie on 5.7 yards per carry.
The numbers dipped a bit to 768 yards and nine touchdowns in 2007, although Jones-Drew ran for 48 yards and a touchdown in two playoff games.
Jacksonville moved on from Taylor after Jones-Drew ran for 824 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008. Given the starting reins in 2009, Jones-Drew went on an incredible three-year tear where he averaged 1,440 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns per season.
Jones-Drew led the league with 1,606 rushing yards on an eye-popping 343 carries in 2011. He made the Pro Bowl in all three years and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2011.
Jones-Drew had an elite prime with the Jacksonville Jaguars
Only age 26 when he led the league in rushing, Maurice Jones-Drew looked Hall of Fame-bound after the 2011 season. But by the time he turned 30, Jones-Drew had played his final NFL down.
Injuries limited Jones-Drew to 414 rushing yards and a touchdown in six games in 2012. Still only 28, Jones-Drew had the worst year of his career in 2013, running for 803 yards on 3.4 yards per carry.
Jones-Drew closed his career with 96 rushing yards on 2.2 yards per carry for the Oakland Raiders in 2014. Don’t let those three final years skew how great Jones-Drew was in his prime, though.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Jones-Drew totaled 83 approximate value in his eight years with the Jaguars.
That ranks fifth in Jaguars history behind receiver Jimmy Smith (119), running back Fred Taylor (106), quarterback Mark Brunell (103), and center Brad Meester (99).
Considering Jones-Drew recorded 76 AV in his first six seasons, it isn’t unrealistic to think he could have passed Taylor had he stayed healthy and effective.
Where is Maurice Jones-Drew now?
Maurice Jones-Drew retired after two ugly seasons with the Jaguars and Raiders.
According to Spotrac, Jones-Drew retired with $36 million in career earnings. Considering he nearly went in the third round of the 2006 NFL draft, Jones-Drew had some nice paydays from the Jaguars.
Like many other stars of the late 2000s and early 2010s, Jones-Drew entered the broadcasting field after he retired. Jones-Drew joined the NFL Network in August 2015 and is still there five years later.
Jones-Drew will need a lot of help to one day enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Although Jones-Drew had a dominant peak, he only had three elite years as a starter.
Still, ‘MJD’ left a favorable legacy on Jaguars fans, even in some of the worst years of their fandom. Jacksonville hasn’t inducted any players into its ‘Pride of the Jaguars’ Ring of Honor since 2016, but Jones-Drew could eventually snap that drought.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.