Blake Bortles: the “other” NFL rookie quarterback



Going into the 2014 NFL draft, most of the attention was on two quarterbacks – QB Johnny Manziel and QB Teddy Bridgewater. Manziel had been hyped for nearly a year, and most expected him to be the first overall QB taken, and if the off chance that he was not selected as the number one QB, it would have been Bridgewater instead; however, this was not the case.

Instead, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted QB Blake Bortles as the number one quarterback in the 2014 NFL entry draft. This shocked many and several fans and analysts felt as though Jacksonville made a mistake; however, this is not the case.

Blake Bortles is a very solid quarterback, and he isn rather underrated.


Right now, the NFL is moving away from the read option. Though the read option has been huge over the last couple of seasons, NFL defenses have adapted. Now, instead of biting on a play, the defensive end will hit the quarterback no matter what.

Because of this, the read option becomes far too dangerous to run on a consistent basis. After the whole rise and fall of Robert Griffin III, it is clear that mobile quarterbacks are too risky, so Jacksonville picked the best option for a career quarterback.

Blake Bortles was probably the best pocket passer that was available in the whole draft, and because of this, his value to the Jaguars is huge. Over the past few seasons, the Jaguars relied on MJD to carry the team. This is no longer an option. Jacksonville has moved towards a complete passing offense, and because of this, Bortles holds a way higher value than any other rookie quarterback.

Skill-wise, Blake Bortles is very good. Having said that, he does need to work on a few things. His arm strength is his biggest issue.

lindsey duke blake bortles-2014-seven-round-nfl-mock-draft

He often has trouble hitting receivers down the field, and his throwing motion on deep balls makes him too vulnerable to getting sacked. He also lacks the ability to escape the pocket under pressure, and he does not know when to give up on plays. Despite this, he has a huge upside.

His accuracy is hands down the best in the 2014 draft. On shorter plays under 25 yards, he easily has the ability to find open tight ends, wide receivers, and the occasional running back. He will be very useful running bubble screens, and will accurately find receivers on shorter routes. Though many are hesitant about Bortles, he is a very safe choice, and is comparable to Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith.

Similar to Smith, Bortles might not be an elite quarterback. Sure, he will not be the guy to make the deep balls that QB Drew Brees makes, he will not be the 4th quarterback that QB Aaron Rodgers is, and he will not be the quarterback to run down the field like QB Colin Kaepernick, but he will be consistent. He will find open receivers and he will throw touchdowns. That’s all he needs to do.

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