Is Blake Bortles ‘The Guy’ To Lead The Jacksonville Jaguars?
By Owen Nelson
During his 3 years as a Jaguar Bortles are been up-and-down. Is Bortles ‘the guy’ to lead Jacksonville into the future?
Former UCF quarterback Blake Bortles entered the NFL with lofty expectations after being selected third overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. He began his NFL career behind former second round pick Chad Henne, but he was quickly given the reins of the franchise.
With inconsistent play over Bortles’ three years, it is now of question whether or not he his the guy the Jaguars should build around.
Bortles’ rookie campaign was rocky to say the least, but what else would you expect from a rookie quarterback? He threw for just under 3,000 yards, to go along with 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
These stats aren’t the greatest but Bortles showed potential. He helped turn an anemic offense under Henne into an offense that had some excitement and could actually move the ball. Most thought he was their franchise guy.
The Florida native took a massive step forward in his sophomore season. Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. The number of yards and touchdowns were more than impressive. Bortles caught the attention of everyone around the league. The 88.2 passer rating was also a big increase from his rookie season (69.5).
Despite this, the number of interceptions were still too high. An increase from his rookie year was worrisome. His completion percentage also decreased by 0.3 percent. However, Bortles’ second season was a big success, but there was a massive amount of pressure on Bortles to continue to improve – perhaps too much.
Bortles took a somewhat unexpected drop in production. Some blame it on the weak offensive line, whilst others blame it on the lack of running production and the regression of Allen Hurns. The number of yards went down to 3,905, touchdowns decreased to 23 and his passer rating decreased to 78.8.
On a lighter note, the interceptions decreased to 16, still fairly high but an improvement on his past two seasons. To be honest, there weren’t many other positives to take from the season as a whole for Blake Bortles.
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I think it’s a little too early to decide whether or not Blake Bortles is the right guy to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars into the future. He should have all of the 2017 season to prove to the management that he is capable of being the face of the franchise.
If he fails to do so then the Jaguars should seriously look into drafting his successor in the early rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. The upcoming quarterback class looks very strong, far superior to the 2017 quarterback class. With the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen, the Jags shouldn’t struggle finding their next franchise signal caller.