Sports What happened to Blake Bortles? How ex-Jaguars QB became Rams' backup, big draft bust

13:43  16 january  2021
13:43  16 january  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The Rams ’ current backup QB is John Wolford, a former undrafted free agent from Wake Forest who has never thrown an NFL pass. So as insurance, the Rams are signing Blake Bortles off the Denver Broncos’ practice squad Bortles , the former No. 3 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars , spent

Blake Bortles signed to be the Rams ' backup , but is still hopeful to get another shot to start. Blake Bortles , like all NFL starting quarterbacks , was under a harsh spotlight the past few years. Not too surprisingly, he sees a big difference between Doug Marrone’s Jaguars staff and the one former NFL

In April 2014, Blake Bortles was the future face of the Jaguars. Taken No. 3 overall in that year's NFL Draft, he'd be the one to turn the Jags from a laughingstock into a perennial contender. Aside from one unexpectedly magical 2017 season, it never happened for Bortles in Florida.

Less than seven years later, Bortles is pressed into duty as Jared Goff's backup on the Rams, but only for as long as John Wolford (neck) remains out. Otherwise, it's been QB3 duties for the first passer taken in a draft that also included Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and Teddy Bridgewater.

But opportunity in the NFL is only a play away, and that's especially true for Bortles in the 2021 playoffs since Goff is dealing with his recovery from a broken thumb. Goff will start against the Packers in the divisional round, but it wouldn't take much for Bortles to see the field. He hasn't thrown an NFL pass since 2019, and it'd be quite the stage for his next throw.

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Blake Bortles is back in the NFL after landing with the Denver Broncos, who lost starter Drew Lock to a Bortles , 28, was a five-year starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2014-18. The No. 3 pick in the 2014 NFL Bortles spent the 2019 season as a backup to Jared Goff on the Los Angeles Rams .

In search of a fresh backup for quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams have signed a former first-rounder who was in search of a fresh start. Blake Bortles , the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft , signed a one-year deal to be the No. 2 quarterback in Los Angeles, the team announced on Monday.

What happened to Blake Bortles?

Bortles was a star at Central Florida in the days before UCF was claiming national titles. He was a 6-5, big-armed, mobile passer who mostly stayed off the casual fan's radar but was a favorite in the draft community. In 2014, one unnamed general manager told Pete Prisco of CBS, in regards to Bortles compared to Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, "When they walk into a room, one looks like a quarterback. The other two? Not so much."

So there Bortles was on stage at the 2014 NFL Draft, taken after just Jadeveon Clowney and Greg Robinson and just ahead of Sammy Watkins, Khalil Mack, Jake Matthews and Mike Evans. He joined a Jacksonville team devoid of talent but was pressed into duty almost right away for a group that was led in rushing by Denard Robinson and receiving by Allen Hurns.

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Former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bortles was released on March 13 before the team signed newly acquired quarterback Nick Foles and cleared million of cap space per Spotrac.com.

Bortles says, “Dude, I was just drafted number three overall to play quarterback in the NFL. Staying with her would be like ripping up a winning lottery ticket.” It's statements like this that make me understand why people have been dying to watch this guy fail since the moment he was drafted .

a baseball player holding a bat: Blake-Bortles-111218-Getty-FTR.jpg © Provided by Sporting News Blake-Bortles-111218-Getty-FTR.jpg

From the start, Bortles threw too many interceptions and never quite got past that problem. Whether it was a matter of his pass-catchers not getting open or Bortles being inaccurate or a poor decision-maker, the results were what they were. In his first three NFL seasons, Bortles had an 11-34 record as a starter and threw 69 touchdowns compared to 51 interceptions. He also fumbled 29 times in those three years.

Just when it looked like Bortles' time in Jacksonville would be short-lived, though, he went 10-6 in 2017 when paired with a dominant defense. Bortles did his part, too, throwing for a career-high in completion percentage and career-low in interceptions. The Jaguars won two playoff games, including a 45-42 thriller over the Steelers, before the Patriots ended their season. That earned Bortles one more year, but he regressed to the mean, went 3-9 and saw his time in Jacksonville end.

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Blake Bortles has been benched after another terrible outing. Following Bortles ’ second fumble of the game against Houston, a miscue that gave the Texans an easy touchdown for a 20-0 lead, the Jaguars benched Bortles and brought in backup Cody Kessler.

The Jaguars selected Bortles with the third pick of the 2014 draft , and he has been their starting quarterback since. Brett Hundley just reportedly left his job backing up Russell Wilson for the Arizona Cardinals, leaving Paxton Lynch as the quarterback behind Wilson on the depth chart.

The Rams signed Bortles in March 2019, and he attempted two passes for L.A. He joined Denver ahead of the 2020 season, but the Rams picked him back up off the Broncos' practice squad in December. He hasn't seen the field in a live game since Dec. 1, 2019.

Why is Blake Bortles the backup to Jared Goff?

Video: Who are Divisional Round's most important non-QBs? (NBC Sports)

For all of the 2020 season before Week 16, former Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford backed up Goff. In Week 16, Goff dislocated and broke his right thumb against the Seahawks, although he finished the game.

Wolford started in Week 17 and the wild-card round after Goff underwent surgery, although Goff was active for that first playoff game against Seattle. When Wolford suffered a neck injury early in the game, Goff returned to action and completed 9-of-19 passes.

With Wolford ruled out for the divisional round in Green Bay, Bortles moved up to the backup QB spot a bit more than two weeks after he was added to the Rams roster, with Bryce Perkins also activated as the No. 3 quarterback. All signs point to Bortles being the first man off the bench if Goff re-injures his thumb or struggles to play through the injury.

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The last time Bortles played in the NFL's divisional round, his Jaguars team beat the Steelers, 45-42, in Jan. 2018.

Blake Bortles career timeline

April 2014 - Jaguars select Bortles with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of UCF.

Sept. 21, 2014 - Bortles makes his first career start in Week 3. He loses to the Colts while throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Dec. 6, 2015 - Bortles plays maybe his best game in the NFL, throwing for 322 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions against the Titans. Jacksonville loses, 42-39.

2017 regular season - The Jaguars, after going 11-34 in Bortles' starts in his first three years, go 10-6 and make the playoffs.

Jan. 14, 2018 - The Jaguars win in the divisional round, 45-42, against the Steelers. Bortles threw for 214 yards and a score.

March 19, 2019 - The Rams sign Bortles after he goes 3-9 in his final season as Jacksonville starter.

Sept. 24, 2020 - Bortles signs a one-year contract with the Broncos.

Oct. 19, 2020 - The Broncos cut Bortles and then move him to their practice squad.

Dec. 29, 2020 - The Rams sign Bortles off the Broncos' practice squad.

Packers bring back veteran tackle Jared Veldheer, who started in Colts' wild-card loss to Bills .
Veteran offensive lineman Jared Veldheer can become the first player in NFL history to suit up for two teams in the same postseason. Veldheer joined the Packers out of retirement at the end of the 2019 season. He did the same this year with the Colts, and played all of the offensive snaps in the regular-season finale and the playoff game.

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