To the surprise of many, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles found himself ranked in the NFL Top 100 players list on Wednesday evening. It's a list of the Top 100 players in the NFL, based on the prior season with a projection to the upcoming season, voted on by players in the NFL. There was some thought Bortles could be on the list, but once it got near the 50 mark I think most people didn't think he would make it.
Well, he did, and he was the highest ranked quarterback in the AFC South. Including over Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, which has seemingly made some people mad online. One person in particular, is Chris Wesseling of NFL.com.
Bortles made his Top 100 debut this week, appearing at No. 56. Luck had plummeted 85 spots from No. 7 last year to No. 92 in early May.
Prior to last year's disappointing, injury-ravaged season, Luck ranked behind only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in an ESPN poll of 35 NFL coaches and executives paid to meticulously analyze game film.
At the very beginning of Wesseling's complaint about Bortles ranking, he cuts the legs out from under his own argument without realizing it. This is a ranking based on the 2015 season and the projection going into the 2016 season. Andrew Luck was terrible in 2016, putting it nicely. He played in only seven games, was a turnover machine and the Colts went 2-5 with him as the starter.
That's pretty atypical for Luck, sure... But this list is based on 2015, so what he did in the years prior are irrelevant to this ranking. Or, at least that's how this list is presented.
Wesseling continues to not really understand the ranking, destroying his own point further in his reaction piece.
Should Bortles be ranked higher than Luck, who has authored a series of definitive, come-from-behind victories and led a flawed team to the AFC Championship Game?
Of course not.
#WellActually, of course he should. Bortles finished with the second most touchdowns in the NFL in 2015, throwing more than double the touchdowns as Luck and only six more interceptions. Albeit Luck was injured, but that's precisely why on the 2015 NFL Top 100, Bortles absolutely should be ranked ahead of Luck.
Now, in a vacuum I'm sure most people would pick Luck over Bortles and that's fine, but this list/ranking is based on being in a vacuum, it's based on the 2015 season, in which Andrew Luck was terrible.
There's still a lot that Blake Bortles needs to work on to be a truly elite quarterback, which Zach Goodall touched on here, but he certainly deserves to be ranked in the Top 100 for his 2015 season, since the listed is partially based on the 2015 season.