Height: 6-5 Weight: 232
College: Central Florida
Strengths: Scouts love what he was able to accomplish at a mid-major program. He was 22-5 as a starter at UCF, beating Penn State and Louisville in road games and leading the Knights to a BCS bowl victory over Baylor. He is athletic, with a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-foot-7 broad jump and a 4.93-second 40-yard dash. He has a strong arm and is accurate. He completed 67.8 percent of his passes last year at UCF. He is completing 63.9 percent of his passes this season. Bortles also has all the intangibles teams look for in a franchise quarterback.
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Weaknesses: He is a rookie, and thus prone to rookie mistakes. Bortles has 14 turnovers this season and has taken 19 sacks. Two weeks ago, the Dolphins returned two of Bortles’ passes for touchdowns. He worked in an offense predicated on the short passing game in college, which kept him from having to read defenses. He still is a work in progress and likely will be for the rest of this season at least.
Last week: He completed 22 of 33 passes for 247 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the Jaguars’ 33-23 loss to Cincinnati.
Who has to stop him? The Cowboys rank 15th in pass defense. They have had trouble getting to the quarterback, ranking 27th in sacks per pass play. They have only 12 sacks in nine games. The Cowboys have started to move defensive tackle Henry Melton around on the line, and he has a team-leading five sacks.
Notable: Rookies have combined for 44 starts for the Jaguars through nine games, the most in the NFL. … The Jaguars have the NFL’s youngest roster at 25.5 years, and 13 of Sunday’s 22 projected starters are first or second-year players. … Bortles passed for 336 yards in Week 6 against Tennessee, tying Byron Leftwich for the most by a rookie in franchise history. … Bortles’ 1,631 passing yards this season trail Leftwich (2,819 in 2003) and Blaine Gabbert (2,214 in 2011) for the most by a rookie in team history. … Since Week 4, Bortles has the fourth-most attempts (217) and the fourth-most completions (140) by an NFL quarterback. … Bortles has 11 completions of 25 yards or more. — Charean Williams