The Jacksonville Jaguars ended the 2013 season with a 4-12 record and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. In desperate need of a franchise quarterback, the team selected former UCF standout quarterback Blake Bortles with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
The pick was considered a reach by some at the time, but Bortles play thus far in the preseason and training camp has turned a lot of heads in the NFL.
The Jaguars are rewarding Bortles’ play by giving him reps with the first team tonight. Although Chad Henne will start the game against the Detroit Lions, Bortles will likely be playing with the starters by the second quarter.
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) August 22, 2014
In his two preseason games, Bortles has looked sharp passing for 277 yards on 18-of-28 passing. Bortles has yet to find the endzone in the preseason, but not for a lack of effort.
Although Bortles has been modest about his performances, stating that “they’ve been two decent outings”, he is certainly in the running to win the starting job by Week 1. Ultimately, however, it seems that Gus Bradley and the Jaguars want to develop Bortles more before thrusting him out onto an NFL field just yet.
Chad Henne is a serviceable quarterback and has proven that over his NFL career, but he will never be able to bring the Jaguars to where they want to ultimately go. Bortles, however, may have the tools to bring the Jaguars to the playoffs in the coming seasons if he has the right team and personnel around him.
If Bortles has another sensational game tonight, the rookie quarterback could be starting Week 1 of the regular season.