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Top 25: Decidedly late 90s feel

Posted Jul 19, 2012

Eight local media members were asked to rank the top Jaguars players of all time. The votes were then tallied to produce the Top 25. Today, we unveil nos. 16-20.

And on we go . . .

We move on today in jaguars.com’s list of the Top 25 All-Time Jaguars to Nos. 16-20, a group with a decided late 1990s feel – and when it comes to Jaguars history, there’s nothing dated about that era.

The late 1990s featured a four-season run from 1996-1999 in which the Jaguars made four consecutive postseason appearances, winning two AFC Central titles and twice making the AFC Championship game. They won 45 regular season games during that span, and won postseason games following the 1996, 1998 and 1999 seasons.

In that sense, it’s not surprising the era is well-represented in the Top 25, and the Nos. 17-20 players on our list were all key contributors during all or parts of the run.

Kyle Brady. Aaron Beasley. Donovin Darius. Gary Walker. They arrived at various times in the late 1990s, and in the case of Darius and Brady they continued to contribute deep into following decade, but their presence on this list recalls an era in which the Jaguars made the playoffs each season, and in some seasons, did a lot more than that.

So, onto Nos. 16-20:

 

20. Gary Walker, defensive tackle.

Years: 1999-2001.

How acquired: Unrestricted free agent, 1999.

Ht., wt.: 6-2, 324.

About Walker: A key member of the 1999 team that went 14-2 and made the AFC Championship game, Walker signed as an unrestricted free agent shortly before that season and helped solidify a defense that was one of the NFL’s best. . . . Although injuries limited him later in his career, he was a reliable player for the Jaguars, starting 46 of a possible 48 games with the team. . . . He had 22.5 sacks in three Jaguars seasons, including 10 in 1999. . . . Walker was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2001.

 

19. Donovin Darius, safety.

Years: 1998-2006.

How acquired: First-round selection (No. 25 overall), 1998 NFL Draft.

Ht., wt.: 6-1, 225.

About Darius: A member of the 1998 draft class that also brought Fred Taylor to the Jaguars, Darius played on three playoff teams with the Jaguars and throughout his career was one of the league’s hardest-hitting safeties . . . . He missed just nine games in his first seven seasons before missing much of his final two seasons. . . . He finished his Jaguars career with two sacks and 14 interceptions.

 

18. Aaron Beasley, cornerback

Years: 1996-2001.

How acquired: Third-round selection (No. 63 overall), 1996 NFL Draft.

Ht., wt.: 6-0, 205.

About Beasley: A member of the 1996 draft class that also brought Kevin Hardy and Tony Brackens to the Jaguars, Beasley with the aforementioned duo helped form the core of the Jaguars’ defense in the late 1990s. . . . Beasley moved immediately into the starting lineup, and after missing parts of his first two seasons with injuries, became a durable player from 1998-2001. . . . He had perhaps his best season in 1999, the year the Jaguars made the AFC Championship game with the NFL’s best regular season record, finishing with a career-high six interceptions and returning two for touchdowns. . . . He finished his Jaguars career with 15 interceptions and 7.5 sacks, starting 71 games.

 

17. Kyle Brady, tight end

Years: 1999-2006.

How acquired: Unrestricted free agent, 1999.

Ht., wt.: 6-6, 280.

About Brady: Brady, like Walker, joined the Jaguars in the 1999 offseason and helped the team to a 14-2 record and an AFC Championship game appearance. . . He caught 32 passes for 346 yards that season, and in 2000, he had statistically his best season, catching 64 passes for 729 yards and three touchdowns. . . . He was one of the NFL’s best run-blocking tight ends throughout his Jaguars career, missing just eight games because of injury during that span. . . . He finished his Jaguars career with 241 receptions for 2,500 yards and 13 touchdowns.

 

16. Mike Peterson, linebacker.

Years: 2003-2008.

How acquired: Unrestricted free agent, 2003.

Ht., wt.: 6-1, 226.

About Peterson: Peterson joined the Jaguars in 2003, and was one of the first high-profile free-agent signings of the Jack Del Rio/James Harris Era. . . . He quickly became a leader on and off-the-field, becoming a key figure in the dominant, aggressive defenses that led the Jaguars to two postseason appearances during his time with the team. . . . A second-team Associated Press All-Pro selection in 2005, he had six of his 15 career Jaguars sacks that season and also had eight interceptions in six seasons with the team.

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