The history of Jaguars' wide receivers is no doubt top-heavy. The beginning years of the franchise saw a dynamic duo unlike anything we have seen since. The closest we have come to the pair who sits at #1 and #2 on this list were the Allen Bros form 2014-2017. The passing game glory days are very much in the past for the Jaguars. This list also includes a potential future Hall of Famer for the Jaguars, even if it is a long shot.
1. Jimmy Smith
Jimmy is unarguably the best wide receiver the Jaguars have boasted in franchise history. There was a recent article written by Neil Pane of FiveThirtyEight describing just how good Smith really was. He was statistically one of the very best in the NFL over a six-year run from 1996-2002, and his franchise record for receiving yards almost doubles the next man in line. Drafted by the Cowboys prior to the 1992 season, Smith bounced around for three years before being signed by the expansion Jaguars after a tryout. After a year of being listed 5th on the depth chart, Smith had a breakout season, and the rest is history. He went to five straight Pro Bowls and was a key cog in the teams' offense through four consecutive playoff appearances. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in seven straight seasons, but only hauled in more than 100 receptions twice. His lack of receptions and touchdowns, along with playing in a small market are likely the driving factors of his nearly non-existent HoF talk. He was inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars in 2016.
2. Keenan McCardell
Coming in second on this list is the other half of the dynamic duo
deemed "Thunder and Lighting": After becoming a big-play receiver at UNLV, McCardell was drafted by the Redskins. He never saw the field for Washington, and after steadily increasing his production over four years in Cleveland, the Jaguars signed him prior to the 1996 season. In tandem with the breakout of Jimmy Smith, the two formed one of the best-receiving duos in the entire league. McCardell made one Pro Bowl as a Jag and produced four 1,000-yard seasons. He ranks second in receptions and receiving yards and third in touchdowns for the franchise. One the franchise's favorite sons, McCardell, found his way back to Jacksonville after his playing days were over and has served as the team's wide receivers coach since the 2017 season.
3. Allen Robinson
Lastly, we have one half of the Allen Bros. Allen Robinson was drafted by the Jaguars in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Robinson is a solid athlete with great hands, and standing at 6'3", he's able to get up over corners and make some great plays. He found some success in his rookie year, but he really began to shine during his second year in the league. He led the league with 14 touchdown receptions and was the first Jaguars' receiver since Jimmy Smith to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving (1,400). Robinson had a bit of a down year in 2016, but the team was terrible, finishing 3-13. A torn ACL on his first reception in 2017 marked the end of his career in Jacksonville, and he signed a three year deal with Chicago prior to 2018. He still holds the franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a season with 14.
The Jaguars have had some interesting situations in the wide receiver room over the years. No one will ever forget the team's choice to draft Matt Jones in the first round, and immediately convert him to wide receiver, which he had never played in his entire life. I will also never forget Torry Holt's stint with the Jags or the fact that a Heisman winner (Desmond Howard) also suited up for the franchise at one point. And I'll always wonder what could have been with Justin Blackmon. Oh, yeah, how could I forget RJ Soward?
The Jags have a new stud wideout in DJ Chark, and with Laviska Shenault joining the team via the draft, there is some potential for the team to have an elite receiving core once again.
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