Craig Ruttle/Associated Press
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Blake Bortles based on his perceived upside rather than his NFL readiness. This is a quarterback who has plenty of holes in his game that will take time in order to correct. Fans of the Jaguars shouldn’t expect instant success from such a raw player.
Bortles needs to first focus on improving his overall throwing mechanics. He has a tendency to fall off his throws which decreases the zip on the ball. This is a concern because Bortles doesn’t have elite arm strength needed to maximize the zip on each pass.
The overall accuracy of his passes is a concern which can also be attributed to technique issues. Bortles doesn’t routinely tie his eyes and feet together. It’s important for a quarterback to square his body to his target in order to deliver a balanced and accurate pass.
Bortles’ accuracy issues extend to the deep-passing game which is a major problem. An NFL quarterback needs to be able to attack down the field by throwing an accurate bucket pass. We’ve seen young quarterbacks such as Blaine Gabbert struggle to develop because of issues stretching the field.
Throwing the football isn’t the only trait a quarterback needs to succeed in the NFL. He also needs to make sound decisions, command the huddle and move the chains. Bortles is still developing in the mental aspect of the game.
He has a tendency to misread a defense and force the ball into coverage. It’ll be important for Bortles to develop better anticipation and get the ball out of his hands at the appropriate time.
Bortles’ athleticism is seen by many as a positive, but he tends to rely on his legs too often. A lot of his success at Central Florida was thanks to his ability to keep drives alive with his feet. This helped him overcome some of those inaccurate throws and missed opportunities.
The last thing to point out is that many evaluators point to Bortles’ performance against Penn State as one of his signature games. After looking at this game, it’s easy to see Penn State’s defensive problems played a major role in the outcome of the game.
Penn State consistently lined their cornerbacks 10 yards off the ball, giving the Central Florida receivers a ton of room to operate. Bortles took advantage of this situation by playing pitch and catch with his receivers along the sideline.
The key to Bortles' success heavily relies on how well he takes to coaching and patience within the Jaguars organization. Jacksonville did do him a big favor by adding Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson on the draft's second day.