Blake Bortles has the size, arm, and intangibles to be a special quarterback but is he in the right position to succeed in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars?
I read an interesting piece by Jim Reineking at NFL.com before the Jacksonville Jaguars took on the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night this past week. In it, Reineking highlighted the differences in situation between the young quarterbacks in the NFL.
While we have historically compared Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr to each other as they are the dependable starters at this stage, it is also worth considering Johnny Manziel with the Cleveland Browns from that same draft and, now, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston from the year after. These are the young QBs that will lead the NFL going forward.
Even with his less than ideal numbers this season, Reineking noted that Bridgewater is in the best position to succeed. Coming in right behind him were Carr and Winston before he finally made his way down to Bortles.
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This seemed curious to me as Bortles has such a strong supporting cast developing around him. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are the
without the name Antonio Brown involved, T.J. Yeldon is a budding star, and, while he hasn’t produced tremendously to this point, Julius Thomas is a matchup nightmare at tight end.
What is interesting about the ranking for Bortles at fourth is that the piece didn’t focus on any negatives. The front office was deemed “trending up” and the offensive pieces were all noteworthy for positives gains. The only negative was missing out on key defensive piece Dante Fowler Jr. during his rookie season.
If I were to rank the six quarterbacks’ situations, I think I would put Bortles up one more ahead of Winston. Winston has some big play makers like Mike Evans and running back Doug Martin, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a steep drop off from the Oakland Raiders in terms of overall talent. The Jags are a closer measure.
Ranking these quarterbacks against each other is purely an academic exercise as the teams rarely meet each other and when they do it comes down to the defense as well as the offense, but on the whole Reineking did get it right when noting that the Jags are trending upward. But, like much of the national media, he jus isn’t quite right on how quickly the Jags are rising.
He may not have an All-Pro running back like Teddy Bridgewater, a stalwart offensive line like Derek Carr, but his opportunity to succeed is certainly there.