Jacksonville Jaguars: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

52. . QB. (2014-present). Blake Bortles. 24. player

  • Jaguars record for most passing touchdowns in a season in 2015 (35)
  • Most passing yards (4,428) in a season in Jaguars history in 2015
  • 14,928 passing yards, 90 touchdowns in 61 career starts
  • Inspiration behind Blake Bortles Facts on Twitter

Fact: Blake Bortles is the starting quarterback for the Jaguars. Another fact: he just won 10 games last year as the Jaguars starting quarterback. Last fact: Bortles is coming here at No. 24 on this all-time list, and is just getting started on his NFL career down in Duval.

Bortles starred in college for the UCF Knights in Orlando, winning The American in 2013 and beating Bryce Petty’s Baylor Bears in the Fiesta Bowl. He was a good Knight, but maybe even a better Jag. Jacksonville used its No. 3 overall pick to select the Sunshine State product in the 2014 NFL Draft. While he was supposed to back up veteran Chad Henne as a rookie, he was too good to ride pine in 2014.

Though Jacksonville was largely terrible during his first three years in the league, Bortles did show signs of promise early as the Jaguars signal caller. He built a strong rapport with former wide receiver Allen Robinson in 2015. Bortles set two single-season franchise records with Jacksonville that campaign: most passing touchdowns in a season with 35 and most passing yards in a season with 4,428.

One would think that former Jaguars great Mark Brunell would have had at least 30 passing touchdowns in a season during his Jacksonville prime, but I guess not. Bortles was on the fast track to being a solid NFL franchise quarterback before his mechanics went into the toilet in 2016. Jacksonville was a laughable 3-13 that season, leading to former head coach Gus Bradley’s firing.

Though it wasn’t always pretty, Bortles did go 10-6 in 2017 as a starter, leading the Jaguars offense to the AFC playoffs for the first time in a decade. He completed over 60 percent of his passes for the first time of his career. Keep in mind that he did this with just one game out of Robinson, as he suffered a season-ending injury Week 1 versus the AFC South rival Houston Texans.

But it was in the AFC playoffs that Bortles really started to make a name for himself. Jacksonville was able to outlast the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Game. The Jaguars won the game 10-3, as Bortles rushed for more yards than he threw in that game. His one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Koyack proved to be the difference in that playoff game.

Bortles helped the Jaguars upset the favored Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in the AFC Divisional Round, 45-42. The next week, the Jaguars looked like they were going to the Super Bowl, but saw their lead fade away in Foxborough to the New England Patriots.

Though not overly flashy, Bortles went 2-1 in his first three career playoff starts. He completed 57.6 percent of his passes for 594 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. As a runner, Bortles scrambled for an additional 121 yards. After inking a new contract this offseason, Bortles just might be the guy that leads the Jaguars to their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl.