Can Blake Bortles become a franchise quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
It is common knowledge in NFL circles that a team needs a franchise quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
There are exceptions to the rule, such as Brad Johnson for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also there are franchise level quarterbacks who never won a Super Bowl, such as Dan Marino. However, most Super Bowl winners in general sport high level quarterbacks.
WHAT IS A FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK?
It’s hard to define a franchise quarterback but you know one when you see one. Craig Stofko writing for NFL MOCKS defined the position as follows:
"“A franchise quarterback refers to someone who plays the position at an extraordinarily and consistently high level.”"
This definition covers those excellent quarterbacks that didn’t win a Super Bowl for a variety of reasons. Dummies.com provided a list of skills needed to succeed as a quarterback at the NFL level. They are as follows: arm strength, competitiveness, intelligence, mobility, release, height, weight, and vision. In fact, an NFL quarterback needs at least 5 of these traits to be successful.
A LOOK AT BLAKE BORTLES IN EACH AREA
First arm strength is critical to make completions and avoid interceptions. Blake Bortles may or may not have sufficient arm strength because his lower body mechanics impair his ability to throw the ball. Continued work on mechanics can solve this. Count this as a maybe
Next is competitiveness. The quarterback must desire to be the offensive leader. As a draftee this was graded as a strength however some poor seasons eroded away this trait. He appeared to regain this last season so this is a qualified maybe if he gets off to a good start.
Intelligence is another ability a QB must have. As an illustration Bortles scored 28 on the Wonderlic Test which is a football IQ score. For a better understanding, 20 is an average score so Blake scores a definite yes on this trait.
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Fourth is mobility. The quarterback must move quickly and also move backward and side to side. This is a Bortles strength. In fact, Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett designed a bootleg offense with Bortles on the move. This was a good reason for his 2017 success. Give Blake a yes.
Next comes release, and this is a definite no. He has a long windup and slow release. The bootleg offense compensated for this to some extent.
No doubt there are two yeses for height and weight. In essence, he is a tall strong player with a prototype NFL quarterback build.
The final trait is vision. A quarterback must be able to scan the field quickly and make decisions in a split second. Bortles has improved his vision but is slow to come off his first receiver. This would have to be a no.
CAN BLAKE BORTLES BE A FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK?
The good news is that Bortles earned four yeses when we looked at traits of a good quarterback. Also Jaguars coaches were smart enough to design an offense that allowed him to be successful. In addition, Blake worked hard during the offseason to improve his game. He has a young and talented group of receivers and a very impressive tight end. The running games is good and is potentially better with the addition of Andrew Norwell. Bortles probably won’t be a franchise level quarterback in 2018, but if he continues to develop he could become a franchise quarterback in the future.