The Jaguars shocked everyone when they chose Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. But in Jacksonville, that was the plan all along.
Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell said on Mike & Mike that he fell in love with Bortles during the 2013 college football season and has thought for several months that Bortles would be the Jaguars’ franchise quarterback. But Caldwell kept it quiet.
“This process started early on,” Caldwell said. “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.”
Caldwell said he thinks Bortles will be the Jaguars’ starting quarterback for a decade or more, and Caldwell views Bortles as the kind of elite prospect who doesn’t come along very often.
“It was very easy,” Caldwell said. “There’s not a lot of 6-foot-5, 245-pound pro-style quarterbacks with the athleticism Blake has.”
Caldwell added that Chad Henne still has a shot to keep the starting job in Jacksonville, and that the Jaguars would be fine with Bortles not becoming the starter until 2015. But if Bortles, is as good as Jacksonville thinks he is, he should be able to beat out Henne.