Jaguars: 5 biggest draft busts of the Dave Caldwell era
No. 1 Jaguars biggest bust of the Dave Caldwell era – Blake Bortles, QB
You could make the case that cornerback C.J. Henderson and edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson deserved a spot on this list but the truth is that they’ve only been in the NFL for two seasons and there’s still a chance they’ll turn the corner. Sure, the Jags already traded Henderson but that was because Dave Caldwell was no longer in charge and his successor, Trent Baalke, didn’t see him as a part of the team’s long-term plan.
Meanwhile, quarterback Blake Bortles has come crashing down since Jacksonville made him the third overall pick in the 2014 draft. The UCF product put some solid stats early in his career and became a fantasy football darling in the process. However, most of his production came in garbage time and when he needed to make plays and lead the Jags, he fell flat on his face.
The Jags had the fifth-best scoring offense and had a 10-6 record in 2017, with Bortles completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,697 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. However, context is necessary, as the Jags’ defense often gave their offensive counterpart a favorable field position and often got them the ball back, giving the quarterback more chances to score.
What makes Bortles the biggest bust in the Caldwell era is that instead of looking for an upgrade at quarterback, the team’s brass doubled down on their mistake and gave him a three-year extension worth $54 million. But wait there’s more. Just a year after rewarding Bortles, the organization released him, making him the source of two blunders. In retrospect, that’s when owner Shad Khan should have cut ties with Caldwell. But he allowed him to keep making questionable decisions and depleting the roster for three more years.