Betting on Bortles

kippBy: Kipp Branch news services

The Jacksonville Jaguars coming off another losing season have to be very pleased in how QB Blake Bortles progressed between year one and two in the 24 year old’s young NFL career.

The good:

The Jags saw some good strides forward from quarterback Blake Bortles in his second NFL season. Bortles threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns while forming a strong partnership with wide receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson.

In his two year career so far Bortles has thrown for 7,300 yards and 46 TD’s on a team not known for offense prior to his arrival.

Bortles is also becoming a loved community leader as well in Jacksonville. 300 kids attended his first annual football camp on June 11th in conjunction with his foundation and the Jacksonville Police Athletic League where the message to the kids was to dream big. Bortles is from the Orlando area and played at UCF has committed $10,000 from his foundation to the OneOrlando Fund in the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attacks.

From my perspective which is good and exciting is Bortles is a gambler in the mold of a Brett Favre who makes plays with arm talent, and tries to place footballs into tight windows.

Bortles made his Top 100 debut, appearing at No. 56 in the NFL Networks top 100 players of 2015.

The bad:

Bortles threw 18 interceptions in 2015 and had thrown for 35 in his young career. He has also been sacked over 100 times in 30 games which speaks volumes about offensive line play.

In his first two years in Jacksonville the Jaguars have not been world beaters on defense and they have often been behind in games so Bortles has taken a beating in the pocket as they have been is constant passing situations.

Moving forward:

The Jaguars must provide Bortles with an improved running game. If the Jags can run the football to keep an opposing defense honest then Bortles will definitely improve as a QB even if his stats go down.

Bortles has to stay on his feet. As mentioned earlier Bortles has been sacked a whopping 106 times in two seasons in Jacksonville. Bortles has to play for the Jags to be successful so protecting him is a must.

Defense wins championships and the Jaguars definitely addressed these areas during the draft and in free agency. Better defense makes Bortles a better QB.

The Verdict:

The NFL is a star league. Every team is looking under every rock trying to find the next star to build around. Jacksonville has found their star in Blake Bortles. He went from 11 TD passes to 35 in the transition from year one to year two. Now going into year three Jacksonville teammates and coaches rave about Bortles and playoffs are a realistic goal going into 2016.

The pieces are in place in Jacksonville and Blake Bortles is the face of the franchise.

I believe Blake Bortles is on the verge of becoming an NFL Superstar. I’ll say this one more time Blake Bortles will lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to the NFL playoffs in 2016.