The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the signing of third overall pick and top quarterback Blake Bortles. Not only was the move a surprise because there was so much talk about other quarterbacks going ahead of him throughout the process, but the Jaguars kept it a secret from everyone, including Bortles’ camp before selecting him. Bortles is coming off a big year at Central Florida in which he led the team to the best season in the school’s history in football, capping it off with a win in the last year of the BCS against Baylor.
The Jaguars have said they plan to sit Bortles as a rookie and roll with Chad Henne. Bortles is obviously going to work as hard as possible to get ready as if he is going to be the starter, but this is a prudent plan that makes a great deal of sense for both the Jaguars and their young quarterback. Bortles has a great deal of talent but is not quite the polished passer he needs to be in order to have a greatl deal of success in the NFL. A year to learn and develop as well as simply adjusting to life in the NFL could be extremely beneficial for the long term.
This is the exact opposite approach that was taken with Blaine Gabbert, who was not ready, forced into action and developed bad habits in order to survive, never catching up, which is why they have Bortles now. Gabbert is now a reclamation project in San Francisco that was picked up for loose change. If the Jaguars can stick with their plan, it should set up Bortles for his best chance of success and be the answer to the situation for the long haul.