The Jacksonville Jaguars are benching 2014 third overall pick QB Blake Bortles in favor of back-up QB Chad Henne. Henne has been with the Jaguars since 2012- pre-Bortles- and was kept aboard because he wasn’t considered a threat to the young quarterback. The team even went through a coaching search this past offseason with a mandate that Bortles would be the starting quarterback.
The Bortles era might not be over, but he’s been a part of an extended series of disasters for the Jaguars during his time in Jacksonville.
And he could have been the New England Patriots’ disaster if the draft board fell a different way.
#Patriots, via Willie McGinest, have taken QB Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois. They would have taken Blake Bortles if he fell to them— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 10, 2014
I’ve been digging for this tweet for a few days because I knew it was out there. The Patriots presumably had Blake Bortles atop their quarterback draft board according to former Patriots EDGE Willie McGinest.
Fortunately this was all hypothetical and Bortles was never going to be available to the Patriots. But, man, can you imagine if the Patriots had taken Bortles over Jimmy Garoppolo?
The top draft quarterbacks in the 2014 draft all had some seriously unfortunate luck, while those in the middle rounds are thriving. Bortles (#3), Johnny Manziel (#22), and Teddy Bridgewater (#32) were all selected in the first round. Bortles has been benched, Manziel is out of football, and Bridgewater suffered a serious injury and lost his job to Sam Bradford.
Quarterbacks in the middle rounds include Derek Carr (#36)- owner of the biggest contract in football- Jimmy Garoppolo (#62), Tom Savage (#135), and A.J. McCarron (#164). Garoppolo and McCarron are both backing up entrenched starters, but both the Patriots and the Bengals have swatted away serious trade offers. Savage is now the starter for the Houston Texans.
Bortles will probably serve as a back-up quarterback for the next 10 years because he looks like he can hold a good clipboard and teams won’t have to change their offense for him if the starter goes down (because the offense won’t work anyways!).
In the end, the Patriots were fortunate to draft Jimmy Garoppolo, who played a key role in the team’s 2016 season and ultimate victory in Super Bowl LI.