During an incredible run to the AFC Championship Game last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars showed they have what it takes to be Super Bowl contenders for the foreseeable future.
With one of the league’s best defenses and the top-ranked rushing attack, many point to quarterback Blake Bortles as the only thing holding the team back from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
When asked Friday if Bortles was the man to lead the Jaguars to the Super Bowl, receiver Marqise Lee offered a very blunt answer.
He ain’t got no choice, Lee said with a smile on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access. He understands, as far as his last two years, how important it is for him to get his game up and get us going. That’s the reason why we were going this year and that’s the reason why we made it that far. He didn’t have a turnover in the playoffs.
Broncos — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: If he seems like a basketball player on grass… well, he is. A former member of the Mustangs’ hoops squad, the 6-3, 218-pounder has excellent hands and the size to be an immediate red zone factor. Sutton has 22 TD grabs over the past two years and averaged better than 16 yards per catch despite limited wiggle (but solid 4.54 speed). His presence could mean Demaryius Thomas’ days in Denver are winding down after two so-so seasons despite a hefty contract.
On the downside, the common complaint about Jackson is that he throws from a narrow base, which is to say that he keeps his feet close together. Because of this, he doesn’t generate velocity and accuracy from his lower body up. He struggles with short and intermediate accuracy at times because of this, and his NFL coaches will have to teach him to align his lower and upper body for optimal results.
In this way, Jackson’s ability to make any throw with only his upper body is a bit of a disadvantage in that he hasn’t had to make the technical adjustments less talented quarterbacks have to over time. That Jackson can often overcome his technical liabilities with pure athleticism is something a player can get away with at the college level, but against more advanced and talented NFL defenses—and throwing into much tighter windows—he’ll have to refine his palette.
He can make deep throws over cornerbacks into the arms of receivers on the run. He’s improved his touch, timing and arc on posts and fades, and he’s learning to throw with anticipation.