During the 2014 NFL draft, everyone thought they knew who the first QB taken would be. Despite the hype surrounding Johnny “Football” Manziel, the fact is that Manziel will definitely not be the starter for the Cleveland Browns this year, or in the near future – Brian Hoyer should and will have that honor.
The same cannot be said about the new quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback, Blake Bortles. When Blake Bortles’ name was called with the third pick, there was a mix of reactions and a debate was created. Many questioned how a team could logically draft a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft, despite the fact that he was only the fourth ranked quarterback according to many scouts. Several scouts had Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Derek Carr ranked above Bortles; however, they decided to ignore this and draft him anyway. According to many, this could have been the biggest mistake in Jaguars franchise history, but this belief is just plain wrong. The hype surrounding Manziel was huge, and many don’t understand why Bortles was taken as the first QB; however, this was the correct decision. Sure, the hype surrounding Bortles was not as evident as the hype surrounding Manziel; however, if you were to follow the advice of most major NFL scouts and analysts, you would know that the Jacksonville Jaguars made the best decision.
The NFL landscape has changed back what to it used to be. For a few years, it seemed as though the read option was the future of the league; however, after defenses learned how to counter this, the pocket passing quarterback has seen resurgence. According to most scouts, Bortles was the most polished passer available in the draft. Hewasn’t a media personality, he wasn’t about the money, but he was safe. This is exactly what the Jacksonville offense needs to begin its rebuilding phase after the loss of MJD at running back. In the past, the team could rely on MJD to sustain the team; however, with him gone, they need to look to the air. Out of all the passers available in the 2014 draft, Bortles was undoubtedly the best pocket passer available. Sure, his arm strength isn’t the best, but his accuracy is on point and he plays the traditional type of football that the Jags are going to be moving towards. Consider him to be a new version of Alex Smith, and the first solid QB that the Jags have had since David Garrard took them to the playoffs. He won’t be quick on his feet, and he won’t make the tight passes that Brady or Manning can make, but he can sure rack up wins. Going into next season, you can expect Bortles to be the starter on opening day, and be the starter for the foreseeable future. From this he will learn to work with his new teammates and hopefully build chemistry that will last for the duration of his career. The future is bright in Jacksonville.
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