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Jacksonville Jaguars: Why Blake Bortles Could Easily Be the Next Blaine Gabbert

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) looks for a receiver during a team scrimmage at NFL football minicamp in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press
Joseph ZapataContributor IIIJuly 8, 2014

In the 2011 NFL draft, the Jaguars selected Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall selection, but the young signal-caller struggled mightily.  In his three years with Jacksonville, Gabbert recorded an abysmal 66.4 passer rating.    

In 2014 the Jacksonville Jaguars tried hitting the redo button by drafting Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall selection.  Jacksonville fans are excited for change, but is Bortles a guaranteed upgrade?

I know Jacksonville needs a franchise qb but Bortles to me is Gabbert pt 2. Stockpile picks and wait for a stronger qb class! #Reaching

— Scott Shanle (@scottshanle) May 15, 2014

It's worth noting that Bortles has never stepped foot on a professional field, so it may be a little early, but these two QBs have a lot in common.

When looking at each players predraft scouting reports, it's easy to find several similarities.  Gabbert's NFL scouting report mentions a handful of his weaknesses: 

Trusts his arm too much and puts the ball in harm's way too often. Does not show good touch on passes over the middle and needs to learn to take a little velocity off certain throws. Struggles to throw an accurate deep ball.

Unfortunately, Bortles' scouting report on CBS.com seems very similar:

Can make every throw, but lacks elite arm strength. Ball placement has room for improvement and his touch is undeveloped. Throwing mechanics have room for refinement. Doesn't always step into his throws and will sometimes deliver with his momentum falling away from his target.

According to these reports, both Gabbert and Bortles have problems with deep-ball accuracy and undeveloped touch.

As seen below, there are eerie similarities between the two quarterbacks (courtesy of HouseofHouston.com).


One of Gabbert's biggest concerns coming out of college was his inability to complete plays when being rushed.  Fortunately for Jacksonville fans, Bortles is much better under pressure.

To complement @danpompei’s excellent story, I can confirm Jaguars had Bortles as the best QB under pressure—the anti-Gabbert.

— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) May 10, 2014 

Another sign for optimism for Bortles is that he is frequently compared to Andrew Luck and/or Ben Roethlisberger because of his size and ability to extend plays (as seen in the gif below).


Bortles hasn't recorded a single minute in the NFL so he can easily become a stud or a dud.  Jacksonville fans should be cautiously optimistic, but one thing's for sure, Gabbert will always have a better head of hair.  


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