I would love to have seen what the Internet might have done to the Expansion Draft of 1995. In the NFL Network era it might have been big. Really big. Back in February of that year, though, no one outside of Jacksonville and Charlotte was paying much attention to the newcomers or their rosters. Matt Robinson, Deron Cherry, Pat Summerall and I were pretty much the extent of the broadcast emanating from the mail room in the group of trailers that housed the start-up operations.
Tom Coughlin and Dom Capers knew that any hope of being competitive in their early days would rest on players placed into the expansion pool by the 28 other NFL teams. Each team was required to fund the pool with six players and each team could withdraw one player for every player it lost. The Jaguars and Panthers could take as many as 42 players towards their 90 man roster and had to claim at least 30.
The Jaguars grabbed QB Steve Beuerlein from Arizona with the first overall pick and the Panthers took cornerback Rod Smith from the Patriots with their first selection.
Jacksonville would select 31 players, 21 of whom would play at least one season in Jacksonville and a handful whom would hang around another year or two.
Beuerlein, the headliner of the expansion draft, would ironically leave for Carolina in free agency in 1996 after it became clear that Mark Brunell was the future of the Jacksonville franchise.
A few notable names from that draft include linebacker Brant Boyer, who would leave in 2001 as the club’s all-time special teams tackle leader; former Florida wide receiver Willie Jackson, who made several clutch catches during the Jaguars seven-game winning streak on their way to the AFC Championship Game in 1996; and offensive lineman Tom Myslinski who played one season in Jacksonville but today is the only member of the 1995 Expansion Draft class still here…as the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator.