During the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the time came for the Jacksonville Jaguars to make their selection with the 29th overall pick.
Still available for the taking were Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph. However, the Jaguars bypassed both signal callers and selected Florida defensive tackle Taken Bryan.
Instead of trying to improve their passing attack that was ranked 17th in the NFL last season, Jacksonville figured they were better off adding another pass rusher to a defense that finished with the second-most sacks last season.
The Jaguars then had another chance to add Rudolph to their roster, as the quarterback was still available when Jacksonville was on the clock in round two. But again, the Jaguars went in a different direction and drafted LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark instead.
While Bryan and Chark will likely be good additions to Jacksonville’s roster, the team had two chances to upgrade at the quarterback position and both times they decided against it.
So now, the Jaguars will attempt to get to the Super Bowl in 2018 with Blake Bortles as their starting signal caller for the fifth straight season.
Jacksonville is hoping that Bortles, who has thrown more interceptions than any other NFL quarterback since 2014, will be good enough for them to reach their goals in 2018.
His high interception total doesn’t seem to bother the Jaguars as much as it should since they even extended his contract back in February, keeping him signed through the 2020 season. That extension might have been a clue that the Jaguars were sticking with Bortles but at the same time, wasn’t going to give him a long-term deal.
Of the 40 signal callers around the league to attempt at least 500 passes since 2014, Bortles has the fifth-lowest QB rating. Quarterbacks like Brian Hoyer, Jacoby Brissett, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill and Tyrod Taylor all have a higher QB rating during this same time period than Bortles.
Prior to this year’s draft, Jacksonville said they didn’t have any glaring needs. But c’mon, even a blind person can see that the Jaguars need to upgrade at the quarterback position if they really want to make some serious moves in the near future.
Even if Jacksonville did not want to start a rookie under center next season, they could have at least drafted Bortles’ eventual replacement this year.
Instead, the Jaguars will spend another season pretending like Bortles is still their quarterback for the future as he continues to get in the way of the team accomplishing their championship goals.