Fred Taylor is a Jaguars legend. One of the first former players inducted into the team's "Pride of the Jaguars," Taylor amassed 13,362 total yards and 70 touchdowns during his 11 seasons in Jacksonville. The ninth overall pick in the 1998 draft, Taylor was an integral part of four playoff teams in Jacksonville.
The former Pro Bowl running back recently spoke with All Things Covered with Patrick Peterson & Bryant McFadden about the current state of the Jaguars. Taylor mentioned a member of his draft class when asked about Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars' new quarterback and the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.
"Peyton [Manning] lived up to everything they thought he was going to be," Taylor said, "and that's what we all hope as Jaguar fans. We hope to get the same thing out of Trevor [Lawrence]."
Taylor also weighed in on fellow former Gator Tim Tebow possibly joining the Jaguars as a tight end. The 25th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Tebow posted a 9-7 record as the Broncos' starting quarterback that included a wild-card playoff victory over the Steelers. But despite his early success, Tebow's subpar completion percentage and unorthodox approach to playing quarterback led to him not receiving another opportunity to start for an NFL team. The former Heisman Trophy winner had unsuccessful stops with the Patriots, Jets and Eagles before trying his hand at professional baseball.
"I don't think Tim got a complete fair shot in the NFL," Taylor said, "because most of the coaches were saying, 'We need the prototypical NFL quarterback.' And he's not that. That was just before the zone reads and the offenses changed up. And I think if Tim had been able to hold on long enough to have those offenses come to fruition, and develop them as they have been the past couple years, I think you would have saw a better quarterback."
Taylor was more than fine with the Jaguars using their second first-round pick on running back Travis Etienne despite the team having other positional needs. The Jaguars are hoping that Etienne can be a good complement to James Robinson, who ran for more yards last season than any other rookie.
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"I'm okay with the pick, simply because he's a guy that is very versatile," Taylor said. "We haven't seen that in Jacksonville, really since Maurice Jones-Drew. ... There's some quality in that selection, they are just going to have to find a way to mask what they didn't get."
While Lawrence and Etienne are just beginning their careers in Jacksonville, Taylor still believes that his career will get an appropriate ending in Canton, Ohio. Taylor was a semi-finalist for induction into the Hall of Fame this past year. His former teammate, offensive tackle Tony Boselli, has been a finalist on multiple occasions.
"I mean, it's hard to deny me when my numbers are better than 15 of the guys that are already in there," Taylor said. "I don't know what I have to do. Maybe it's time. Maybe they have to get a way to get Tony Boselli in first and maybe he will be lead blocking for me all over again."