Analytics: Bortles rated in lower-half of league

Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael, who will replace William Moore at strong safety, played with Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles at Central Florida for three seasons.

“He was a great college quarterback,” Ishmael said. “We always used to say that he was kind of like a more athletic Ben Roethlisberger. He’s big. He can run. He can throw the ball. Blake is going to take his shots.”

The Falcons are concerned about Bortles’ deep throws.

“That part of his game is totally on point,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “They are connecting on some big, explosive plays. They are near the top of the league in terms of explosives. … you can see not just the arm strength, but the touch that he has to make some of the deep throws.”

Bortles has completed 288 of 501 passes (57.5 percent) for 3,524 yards, 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Despite the gaudy numbers, Bortles has not impressed the analytics crowd.

He’s ranked in the lower half of starting quarterbacks by footballoutsiders.com’s defense-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR, 21st), which rates a quarterback’s total value, and defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA, 22nd), which rates a quarterback’s value per play.

Roethlisberger is fourth in DYAR and third in DVOA.

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