There's no nice way to say it: BLAKE BORTLES was awful last year. His mechanics and decision-making regressed. It was hard to believe he was the same quarterback who in 2014 and '15 inspired some to call him a young Ben Roethlisberger. If Bortles struggles again this year he will be on the bench by Halloween. His biggest problem is his throwing motion: It's gotten longer. The longer the motion, the greater the chance of a mechanical glitch. Also, it simply takes more time for the ball to come out—often making what looked like a good decision turn into a bad one.
• Even if Bortles reworks his motion, he'll never have the compact delivery of an Aaron Rodgers or a Matthew Stafford. So Jacksonville must run an offense with slower-developing pass routes. (The Buccaneers do this with Jameis Winston.) Naturally, downfield play-action is a heavy component of that kind of offense. Bortles and the Jags were spectacular with that in 2015. They must get back to it.
• The selection of LSU running back LEONARD FOURNETTE with the No. 4 pick suggests that DOUG MARRONE, in his first full season as the Jaguars' coach, and new front-office czar Tom Coughlin want an old-school, run-first offense. A lack of athleticism along the interior O-line means Jacksonville's ground game will feature more inside zone than outside zone plays.
• With the additions of marquee free agents A.J. BOUYE (cornerback) and CALAIS CAMPBELL (defensive lineman), plus the expected development of second-year men YANNICK NGAKOUE (defensive end), MYLES JACK (middle linebacker) and JALEN RAMSEY (corner), the Jaguars' D could be stacked. The more talent you have, the simpler your scheme can be, and the faster your defenders can play. Defensive coordinator TODD WASH is expected to stick with their Seahawks-style Cover 3, which is about as simple as it gets.
• Ramsey is a superstar in the making. At 6'2" and 208 pounds, he has the best physique of any corner to enter the league recently, and his build is ideal for a Cover 3 boundary cornerback—the Richard Sherman role. Bouye is another rangy corner, and he has great route recognition. It will be difficult to beat Jacksonville on the perimeter.
"THE SELECTION OF FOURNETTE SHOWS THAT THEY WANT AN OLD-SCHOOL, RUN-FIRST OFFENSE."
SI'S 2017 PREDICTION
ANDY BENOIT'S 400 MMQB ON.SI.COM/400
35 CALAIS CAMPBELL DE
54 TELVIN SMITH LB
60 A.J. BOUYE CB
153 MALIK JACKSON DT
171 JALEN RAMSEY CB
177 PAUL POSLUSZNY LB
235 ALLEN ROBINSON WR
287 TASHAUN GIPSON FS