The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is behind us and the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked everyone by taking UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the 3rd overall pick. Most people had ruled out the Jaguars taking a quarterback if they stayed at number 3, but general manager Caldwell kept it close to the vest and managed to keep everyone in the dark. It’s a bold move and will define the legacy of this regime long-term. Make no mistake, Bortles is the future of this franchise.
While the selection of Bortles is getting mostly positive reviews from the readers here at Black & Teal, opinions from analysts around the internet are varying. Here are some of the grades so far:
|Pete Prisco||CBS||A+||Love this pick. I knew they loved Bortles and they had to get a quarterback. He’s the right guy.|
|Derek Stephens||NFLDraftScout.com||C+||The Jags make a big statement about their determination to fill the seats here, by taking the highly-talented but still-raw Bortles.|
|Michael Schottey||Bleacher Report||C||Bortles is raw—really raw.|
|Matthew Fairburn||SB Nation||B||Blake Bortles still has some developing to do.|
|Chris Burke||Sports Illustrated||B-||Wow. The Jaguars obviously love the prospect of having a QB prototype with a sky’s-the-limit outlook on his career.|
|Michael DiRocco||ESPN NFL Nation||Thumbs up||The Jaguars’ plan is to not play Bortles in 2014 and let him develop behind Chad Henne.|
First of all, I don’t buy the talk of Bortles sitting all of 2014 behind Chad Henne. He might not start week 1, but Bortles will be the starting quarterback by the end of the season.
The second knock on the pick seems to be that the Jaguars passed on better prospects in Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins. I said it about Teddy Bridgewater and I’ll say it about Bortles – if you think a guy is a franchise quarterback then just take him. Don’t try to get cute and trade down. The Vikings and Browns both traded up to take quarterbacks – there’s a good chance one of them was going to take Bortles in the top 10.
The Jaguars still have 10 picks to surround Bortles with some talent, so let’s see what else the General has up his sleeve.
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89