Why The Jaguars Should Redshirt Bortles

This is the first of a two-part series as we look at all the reasons why the team shouldn't rush to play their most prized asset.

Redshirting Bortles

Blake Bortles simply isn’t ready to take over an NFL team and lead it and himself to success. He played college at a mid-major and the team simply isn’t good enough around him to carry him.

Let’s look at the issues why Bortles won’t have immediate success.

Blake doesn’t have great, or good footwork. It may seem like a “nit-picky” item, but it’s vitally important. Bortles has a ton of great attributes, many of which made him the third-overall pick in the draft, but at this point his footwork isn’t on par to have sustained success.

Blake has a tendency to stare down his receivers. This was a problem of his in college and he got away with it most of the time against subpar competition. When he played against South Carolina, he threw a pair of interceptions and the Gamecocks secondary dropped a few others. Bortles arm is more than adequate but it’s not elite to the likes of Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler or Cam Newton. He simply can’t “call his shot” and fire away and get those passes through against the best of the best.

The supporting cast simply isn’t good enough. Without a doubt, if Blake Bortles is forced into action the Jaguars aren’t going to ask him to do too much. With that said, he doesn’t have a Marshawn Lynch to hand the ball to, he has career backup Toby Gerhart ….and fellow rookie Storm Johnson.

The Jaguars offensive line is somewhere between a mess and unknown. Aside from Zane Beadles, everyone else has questions and some major ones. The worst thing that can happen to Bortles is if he picks up bad habits while running for his life on nearly every drop-back. Referring back to his footwork issues, it will be tough for that to improve while he’s constantly under duress.

Finally, the Jaguars should have their new face of the franchise redshirt for a year because that was the original plan. It was widely regarded that Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater was the most NFL ready signal caller in this draft and Blake Bortles had the most upside. Bortles isn’t a finished project like Andrew Luck was. He’s not close to that at this point. He can learn a lot from watching the game and that’s what he needs to do until it becomes clear that he gives the team the best chance to win on a weekly basis. The locker room will always appreciate the front office playing the best players.

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