Blake Bortles among those who benefited most from 2018 NFL Draft


Despite what many national observers believe, the Jacksonville Jaguars believe in Blake Bortles and their 2018 draft class is evidence of that.

As everyone who has access to Twitter or a prominent national voice on television continues to doubt how far the Jacksonville Jaguars can go solely because of their quarterback, the front office at TIAA Bank Field (already sounds weird) showed  in this year’s draft that they believe in their much-maligned signal caller.

Despite numerous chances to draft a legitimate replacement for Bortles (Lamar Jackson in the first round or Mason Rudolph in the second round) the Jaguars decided to double down on Blake and instead continue surrounding him with talent.

Gregg Rosenthal over at went through and listed who he thought were the veterans who benefited the most from draft weekend and he started it off with the people’s champ:

"Blake Bortles’ excellent 2018 continued on draft weekend. The Jaguars chose once again not to draft significant quarterback competition for him, and the team prioritized getting Bortles more help by selecting wideout D.J. Chark in the second round. After giving Bortles a new contract this offseason, the organization is more committed than ever to trying to win a Super Bowl around the 26-year-old QB, rather than daydreaming about a world without him.That’s about as good as it gets on draft weekend for a veteran quarterback comfortably outside the top 10 in the league, and it was a pattern that repeated around the NFL."

Rosenthal is right – Bortles is a big winner from the draft – but the context isn’t exactly right. The Jaguars didn’t have to ‘daydream’ about a world without him, because they had every opportunity to replace him with high-pedigree prospects. The Jaguars wouldn’t do what they did if they honestly believed Bortles wasn’t good enough to quarterback them to a Super Bowl.

And sure, Bortles outside the top 10 in the league but the ‘comfortably’ modifier downplays just how much parity there is among the middle of the pack. This is a league where Cam Newton went from league MVP to mediocre at best in one year and where Marcus Mariota had more interceptions than touchdowns but still receives praise.

On his best days, Bortles can be the best quarterback in the division, the problem is he can’t consistently be his best. With the work the Jaguars did in the draft to get him some help, maybe he can find more consistency.