Redskins: Predicting the results of the 2018 NFL quarterback carousel
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles
Another team that there have been a lot of rumors about is the Jacksonville Jaguars. At one point this season, it was thought that Blake Bortles was absolutely not the answer. He was too prone to turning the ball over and the Jaguars offense needed to find a more efficient quarterback.
Well, that tone changed after Bortles went on a tear during December. He had a three game stretch that saw him complete 71 percent of his passes for 903 yards and seven touchdowns. He didn’t throw a single interception. That stretch inspired enough confidence in Jaguars owner Shad Khan that he gave Bortles a vote of confidence and said that he was the quarterback for the team moving forward.
That said, Bortles’ performance in the opening round of the playoffs left a lot to be desired. As a passer, Bortles was completely inept while going 12-of-23 for a meager 87 yards and a touchdown. He couldn’t move the ball downfield at all, as his accuracy was a major issue. Though Bortles did use his legs well (88 yards on 10 scrambles), he just doesn’t have the passing skills necessary to lead his team on a deep playoff run. He’s like a worse version of Joe Flacco. He could have a torrid stretch to carry his team, but it’s more likely that he’ll continue at a below average clip.
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If the Jaguars have a change of heart regarding Bortles, they could elect to part ways with him without paying him a dime. The fifth year option on his rookie deal was accepted, but it’s not guaranteed. So, if they change their mind on Bortles after the playoffs, they could elect to go after Cousins or a guy like Alex Smith or Eli Manning as well. Still, the more likely option is to keep Bortles for one more year.
If the team does keep Bortles, they may elect to spend a draft pick on a young player to develop in case Bortles busts out. They probably won’t be in range to select any of the top five passers, unless they trade up, but that is unlikely. So, a Day 2 guy like Mason Rudolph or maybe Riley Ferguson, if they are impressed with either, could make sense. Either way, the Jaguars should add some young talent at the position to challenge Bortles.