May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Blake Bortles (Central Florida) is introduced to the stage before the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The Jacksonville Jaguars provided the first shocking moment of the 2014 NFL Draft when they selected UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the 3rd overall pick. While most people expected the Jaguars to pass on a quarterback in the first round or at least trade down if they were going to take one, general manager David Caldwell always planned to take Bortles.
"The quarterback process went early on in the fall last year and he was a guy that I always felt really strongly about, but I never let my intentions known. I let the process play out, and once our coaches got a hold of all the evaluations of our personnel staff, he became the consensus No. 1, without me influencing anybody. It became very clear to us that he was the guy at the quarterback position that we were going to target.– Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell"
The most exciting part about this for me is how effective Caldwell and his team was at keeping this under wraps. Bortles really came into the limelight late into the college football season and vaulted to the top of quarterback rankings in the pre-draft process. The Jaguars clearly had a need at quarterback and did their due diligence by thoroughly evaluating each prospect. They went to every pro day and had multiple quarterbacks come to Jacksonville for visits.
Right now a lot of people are going to say this move was a reach, but that will be completely irrelevant if Bortles develops into a legitimate starting quarterback. He was always the guy for Caldwell and the Jaguars acquired an immediate upgrade at the most important position. Seems like a pretty good plan so far.
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