JACKSONVILLE – This story is about discussion, and maybe a little fun.
It's about the 2020 NFL Draft. Specifically, it examines what teams have done in recent – and not-so-recent – drafts with the selections held by the Jaguars in this year's version.
As such, it's for discussion. And fun.
We'll focus on the selections that correspond with the Jaguars' early-round selections – Nos. 9 and 20 in Round 1 and No. 42 in Round 2 – because those selections have a very real chance to shape the franchise moving forward.
The Jaguars have a chance to select three of the top 42 players in college football because they hold not only their selections, but the first-round selection of the Los Angeles Rams (No. 20). They also hold the Rams' first-round selection next season, so the next two drafts could be franchise-shifting.
There have been elite players selected at all three spots over the years, and the No. 9 and 20 selections have produced productive-to-standout players relatively consistently.
The reason it's just for discussion – and fun – is when it comes to the NFL Draft, the past doesn't dictate the future. Just because a No. 9 overall selection became one of the best players in Jaguars history – as was the case with former running back Fred Taylor – does not mean it necessarily will happen again.
And just because the No. 42 overall selection yielded the New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski a decade ago doesn't mean that will happen again, either.
What the story does perhaps show is the possibilities at each position. There will be good players available at all three spots. The possibility for a franchise-changing draft is there.
As for now, we'll look at what Selections No. 9, No. 20 and No. 42 have meant from a historical perspective beginning with a detailed look at the last 10 selections at No. 9:
*Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (Buffalo, 2019). Played 16 games with seven starts as a rookie, three sacks.
*Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (San Francisco, 2018). Started 28 games, PFWA All-Rookie.
*John Ross, WR, Washington (Cincinnati, 2017). Has 716 yards, 10 touchdowns receiving.
*Leonard Floyd, LB, Georgia (Chicago, 2016). Fifty-four starts, 18.5 sacks, PFWA All-Rookie.
*Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (New York Giants, 2015) | Thirty-one starts, now with third team.
*Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA (Minnesota, 2014). Four-time Pro Bowl selection (2015-2018).
*Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama (New York Jets, 2013). Played 21 games in four NFL seasons.
*Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College (Carolina, 2012). Seven-time Pro Bowl, five-time Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection.
*Tyron Smith, OT, S. California (Dallas, 2011). Seven-time Pro Bowl, two-time AP first-team All-Pro.
*C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson (Buffalo, 2010) | One-time Pro Bowl selection in eight NFL seasons.
This overall has been a good selection in the last decade, though two – Flowers and Milliner – would have to be considered disappointments. All players except Spiller and Milliner remain in the league, and four have made the Pro Bowl. It's too early to know the futures of McGlinchey and Houston, though both have had promising starts to their careers. Kuechly, who retired Tuesday, is a likely future Hall of Famer widely considered one of the best middle linebackers of his era. Smith has been one of the NFL's best left tackles in the last decade, and Barr has been a consistent outside linebacker in six seasons with the Vikings.
A historical note on No. 9 overall: Four players selected at the spot – linebacker Brian Urlacher (Chicago, 2000), offensive tackle Bruce Matthews (Houston, 1983), running back Lenny Moore (Baltimore, 1956) and running back Hugh McElhenny (San Francisco, 1952) – have made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Jaguars have drafted No. 9 three times, selecting Taylor in 1998, defensive tackle John Henderson in 2002 and wide receiver Reggie Williams in 2004.
Here's a look No. 20:
*Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (Denver, 2019). Eleven starts, 40 receptions, 562 yards, three touchdowns.
*Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas (Detroit, 2018). Thirty-one starts in two seasons.
*Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah (Denver, 2017). Forty-eight starts in three seasons; PFWA All-Rookie.
*Darron Lee, OB, Ohio State (New York Jets, 2016). Thirty-eight starts, four sacks in four seasons.
*Nelson Agholor, WR, S. California (Philadelphia, 2015). Sixty-two starts, 2,515 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns.
*Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St. (New Orleans, 2014). Eighty-eight starts, 5,730 yards, 34 touchdowns.
*Kyle Long, G, Oregon (Chicago, 2013). Seventy-six starts, 2014 second-team AP All-Pro team.
*Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor (Tennessee, 2012). Forty-five starts, 3,858 yards, 19 touchdowns.
*Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa (Tampa Bay, 2011). Thirty-six-and-a-half sacks in nine NFL seasons.
*Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama (Houston). Eighteen interceptions, 137 starts in 10 NFL seasons
This overall has been a reliable selection over the past decade, with all listed players except Wright still in the league. Though No. 20 hasn't produced many elite players, it has produced reliable players who stayed with their teams past their rookie contracts; Long has spent all seven seasons with the Chicago Bears and Jackson spent nine seasons with the Texans. Cooks had four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2015-2018 while playing for three different teams: New Orleans, New England and the Los Angeles Rams.
A historical note on No. 20 overall: While Los Angeles Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood (1970) and Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Forrest Gregg (1956) are the lone Hall of Famers selected at the spot, safety Steve Atwater – a Hall of Fame finalist this year – was selected at the spot by Denver in 1989. The Jaguars never have selected No. 20 overall.
Here's a look No. 42:
*Drew Lock, QB, Missouri (Denver, 2019). Passed for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns, 4-1 as starter.
*Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State (Miami, 2018). Twelve starts, 772 yards receiving, five touchdowns.
*Marcus Williams, S, Utah (New Orleans, 2017). Ten interceptions, 46 starts.
*Kamalei Correa, DE, Baltimore (Boise State, 2016). Eight-and-a half sacks, thirteen starts.
*Jalen Collins, CB, Louisiana State (Atlanta, 2015). Eight starts, two interceptions in two NFL seasons.
*Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (Philadelphia, 2014). Forty-seven starts, 3,288 yards, 22 touchdowns.
*Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State (Oakland, 2013). Twenty-four starts in four seasons.
*Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford (Miami, 2012). Thirty-two starts, three NFL seasons.
*Brooks Reed, LB, Arizona (Houston, 2011). Eighty-six starts, 22.5 sacks, nine NFL seasons
*Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona (New England). Five-time Pro Bowl, four-time first-team AP All-Pro.
This also was a reliable selection during this period, with Watson, Martin and Gronkowski the only players of the 10 not still in the league. Lock took over as the Broncos' starter in Week 12 this past season and showed strong signs of being the team's quarterback of the future. Gronkowski is perhaps the best player ever selected at No. 42 and was widely considered the NFL's best tight end – and one of the best in NFL history – until retiring following the 2018 season.
A historical note on No. 20 overall: Quarterback Bob Waterfield, selected by the Los Angeles Rams in 1944, is the lone Hall of Fame selection at the position. The Jaguars never have selected No. 42 overall.