Grading Jacksonville Jaguars 1st-round picks throughout the 2010s

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey #20 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey #20 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Quarterback Blake Bortles (5) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterback Blake Bortles (5) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars got one really good season from their 2014 pick.

2014, 3rd overall: Blake Bortles, quarterback, UCF

After pulling the plug on the Blaine Gabbert experiment, the Jaguars took a quarterback from their own backyard in UCF. Bortles, a tall and strong-armed passer, was the exact opposite of Gabbert as a prospect. After a rocky rookie season where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, he seemed to break out during his sophomore season.

However, after throwing for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2015, he would never quite find that form again. Bortles will be most known for is being the quarterback in the Jags team that made the AFC Championship team in 2017. He signed to a three-year, $54 million contract the following offseason was released in 2018 after another poor season.

Currently, Bortles is in Green Bay as the third-string quarterback. This is a far cry from the career that Chicago Bears pass rush extraordinaire Khalil Mack is having. The future Hall of Famer was taken just two picks after Bortles in the 2014 Draft. Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald, and Zack Martin were taken later in the first round as well. While basically, any player would have been a better addition than Bortles, he will always be remembered for the magical 2017 season he was a part of.

Grade: D

2015, 3rd Overall: Dante Fowler, EDGE, Florida

Breaking the streak of four straight offensive first-round picks, Fowler joined the Jaguars from Gainesville. Unfortunately for the Florida product, he tore his ACL on the very first day of rookie minicamp and missed his first NFL campaign. His best year in a Jaguars uniform came in 2017 as a part of the famed “Sacksonville” defense. That year, he had eight sacks to go along with his first career touchdown while playing in all 16 games. The Jaguars decided against picking up his fifth-year option in 2018.

In a bit of silver lining, the Jaguars were able to receive some compensation for Fowler, as they traded him to the Los Angeles Rams for a third and fifth-round pick right before the trade deadline. Fowler currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons. The next three picks in 2015’s draft were all future Pro Bowlers in Amari Cooper, Brandon Scherff, and Leonard Williams. All of these players would represent an improvement on Dante Fowler, although he is not a bad player.

Grade: C