And then there were three.
The argument could certainly be made that Blake Bortles is the best player on the Jaguars; after all he is their offensive captain, quarterback, and holds the team record for touchdowns in a season. There is no question that he is the most important player on the team since the quarterback is the most important player on every team in the NFL.
We will start with why Bortles is so high on the list. In 2015, he threw a shocking 35 touchdown passes. No one, and I do mean no one, saw that coming. He accounted for a ton of offense and really grew as a quarterback and a leader throughout the year. His improvement in play can be largely attributed to the work that he put in during his first offseason in the NFL. He worked with quarterback guru Tom House and regularly spent time working with the receivers during the offseason. His maturation as a professional has been truly impressive. This meteoric rise was also aided greatly by the drastic improvement of his two favorite targets, the Allens. Bortles is a fun guy to watch due to his ability to break a tackle or shake a defender and then find a receiver down field or tuck and run.
While Bortles showed real improvement in 2015, he was not with out flaws. His 18 interceptions lead the league and cost the Jaguars dearly in many games. His low completion percentage is also something that will need to improve moving forward. If Bortles is to become an “elite” quarterback then he will have to cut down on the turnovers and see a serious increase in his completion percentage.
The Bottom Line: Bortles is only 24 years old and has virtually unlimited upside. His strong arm and ability to make things happen with his feet make him incredibly difficult to game plan for and gives the Jaguars a shot to make things happen every time he takes the field. If Bortles can take better care of the ball and become a more efficient quarterback in 2016 then there is no reason that he will not be the best Jaguar and also be a top tier QB. If he cannot reduce the costly turnovers, then the narrative on Bortles will dramatically change heading into 2017.