Blake Bortles simply received a 3-yr, $fifty four million deal. In the span of 1 season, Bortles went from a man who appeared like he was in peril of being benched earlier than the season even started, to at least one that ought to now be the starter in Jacksonville for at the least two extra years. It’s a bridge contract, definitely not a excessive-finish longterm deal, however does present Bortles some safety getting into subsequent season.
In doing so, the Jacksonville Jaguars are banking that Bortles will probably be the man that confirmed flashes final season and flourished with an influence operating recreation and good protection.
So who’s Blake Bortles? Properly, he’s a riddle wrapped in a thriller inside somebody who described himself as “not a pure thrower of the soccer.” Earlier than 2017, he might rack up some rubbish time yards and touchdowns whereas the Jaguars have been (typically) behind, however his poor play early in video games was an enormous think about trailing. He was, and nonetheless is, inconsistent.
However just like what I did with the rookie quarterbacks, I made a decision to take a look at some statistical comps to see what historic seasons have been most just like what Bortles has completed. That is the first in a collection coping with the younger quarterbacks of 2017, from Carson Wentz to Dak Prescott to Jameis Winston.
However I’m additionally including not solely a season comparability, but in addition a comparability to profession numbers after the similar variety of years right into a profession. And these comparisons, properly, they present that the Jaguars’ transfer is a calculated gamble, and there’s a lot to dislike (or like) relying on your view.
So let’s begin with Bortles’ numbers by means of his profession, the place he has began sixty one video games over four years, averaged 6.7 yards per try, and thrown ninety touchdowns to sixty four interceptions.
Right here are the 10 most comparable begins at the similar age (inside one yr of age) after 4 seasons, league-adjusted for common yearly stats at the QB place:
Mark Sanchez, in fact, was recognized for making two championship video games with the Jets, however by no means panned out. His fourth season was his final as a starter, as the Jets, and he have been shifting in the other way. Most of the prime 5 is a nasty look (and we don’t know if Andrew Luck will make it again) however the remainder of the most comparable 10 no less than supplies some hope.
However let’s flip to final yr solely.
Bortles, statistically, was higher than you may need realized in 2017. He wasn’t a professional bowler or something, however he put up just about close to -league-common stats in all price classes, and his sack fee has improved dramatically since the first two years. It’s additionally a reminder that loads of extremely drafted quarterbacks have been about common statistically at age 25 and had good careers. That is additionally a reminder that John Elway’s early profession numbers have been fairly pedestrian. Elway–in a special period–averaged lower than 7.zero yards per try from ages 24 to 26 and barely had extra TD passes than interceptions.
I don’t know that Bortles will develop like a few of these different quarterbacks, however 2017 was undoubtedly a key yr in his profession, and one that gives some hope. All contracts are dangerous however this one appears to be a calculated gamble that would repay if Bortles builds on final yr as he enters his prime.