2014 NFL Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars Strike Out By Drafting QB Blake Bortles
With a four-win season in 2013, the 22nd-ranked passing offense and the 31st-ranked rushing attack, the Jaguars are in a desperate need of finding playmakers. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon looked like a younger Calvin Johnson at times, but his indefinite suspension will most likely keep him completely sidelined in 2014. Veteran Chade Henne is a decent backup, but he is not able to lead a team. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Bortles will not be able to either.
The decision to take Bortles was more about image than actual talent. At 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds, the former quarterback for UCF fits the ideal frame that organizations drool for. He had a nice final season in college with 3,581 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions, 272 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, but his competition level left much to be desired.
Compared to Teddy Bridgewater, Bortles hasn’t had to form the tough skin that will be necessary for the first quarterback off the board. Where Bridgewater watched his value drop daily and was constantly criticized during the whole time leading up to the draft, Bortles was able to just glide through the whole experience from a nice Pro Day.
Unlike Johnny Manziel, Bortles is not a playmaker. With relatively few weapons to support him, Bortles will not have the improvisational skills necessary to keep a play going when everything breaks down. Lacking the big play ability will only cause more frustration for this offense that hasn’t been able to find an identity for years. He simply is not good enough to be the leader and playmaker the Jaguars are praying that he can be.
Without the weapons or adaptability for Bortles to succeed, the Jaguars are going to look to sign another quarterback within the next three years.
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