The first two picks of the 2014 draft went pretty much as we expected by the start of the draft, leaving the Jaguars with a chance to provide the night’s first excitement with the third overall selection.
The Jaguars have done just that by selecting Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. The move drew a stunned response from a Radio City Music Hall crowd that must have expected to see Johnny Manziel as the first quarterback off the board and we’re sure that response was the same in many other places around the country.
The Jags certainly need a long-term answer at quarterback and Bortles has the build and arm strength to be that answer. There wasn’t much buzz linking team and player in the last few days, although Mike Florio did suggest watching Jacksonville while discussing Bortles’ potential landing spot earlier this week.
The consensus opinion is that he might not be ready to start providing it at the outset of the 2014 season, although you’d have to imagine that the third overall pick will have a chance to at least compete with Chad Henne for the starting job.
It’s a bold move by General Manager David Caldwell and the success of his tenure, as well as that of coach Gus Bradley, will likely have a lot to do with how well this pick turns out for the Jags.