In news that shouldn’t shock anyone who has been following, Nathan Rourke is taking his talents to the NFL. Somewhat surprising that he chose the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars seemingly has a quarterback in place that is set to be their starter for years to come. Rourke will be competing for the number 2 spot behind franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
If you look at this as a way for Rourke to gain valuable experience Jacksonville makes sense. Learning the NFL ropes from much respected coach Doug Pederson will be a great benefit. Forming a partnership with Lawrence will give Rourke a solid foundation to start his NFL journey.
Rourke put out the following statement.
Four quarterbacks that have had success in the NFL after their time in BC are Joe Kapp, Doug Flutie, Trent Green and Casey Printers. Kapp is the only one that made the direct jump to being a starter and it was over 50 years ago. Flutie played another 6 years in the CFL after leaving the Lions before getting another shot in the NFL.
Green was part of the Leos 1994 Grey Cup squad but was a practice squad player. He wouldn’t get his shot to be a starter until 1998 with Washington. Printers earned a contract with the KC Chiefs but his time in the NFL was short lived.
The BC Lions currently have Vernon Adams Jr slated to be the starter in 2023. Breylin Smith and Vad Lee have also been signed in the offseason to compete for a spot behind centre. With CFL free agency for February 14th it will be worth watching to see if the Lions will acquire another QB with experience as a CFL starter. As of right now Bo Levi Mitchell, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Cody Fajardo and Trevor Harris are all set to hit the open market.
Rourke, 24, was on a record setting pace in 2022 before a mid-season injury sidelined him for 8 games. He would finish with the highest single season completion percentage in CFL history in 2022, with a truly impressive 78.7 completion rate. Averaging 335 yards passing per game and 2.5 touchdown passes per game show why he was in demand down south.
There was damage done with his ground game as well, rushing for 304 yards with a rate of 7.8 yards per carry and 7 touchdowns. He also had 3 of the top 5 single game performances despite playing only half the season. Whether or not all this transfers to success at the NFL level is what everyone is waiting to see.
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