Everyone knew that there would be a curveball thrown early in the 2014 NFL Draft. The first one came from the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 3 pick and their selection of Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. It is a risky move for the Jaguars especially since they have tried the first round quarterback selection route before with Blaine Gabbert. Bortles better work out for Jacksonville or it could send the organization back to a similar position sooner than later.
Bortles was arguably the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year’s draft and Jacksonville needed a quarterback but going after Bortles with the No. 3 pick may have been too early. The Jaguars could have traded down three or four spots and still could have got Bortles probably. It is also likely that Bortles is going to need at least one year to sit on the sidelines before he is really ready to go but the Jaguars are likely not going to have a choice but to put Bortles on the field from Week 1.
He now will have to avoid Jadeveon Clowney twice a season and has a lot of pressure on him to turn the fate of the Jaguars around. He is definitely a risky pick to say the least. Hopefully coach Gus Bradley knows what he is doing. Gabbert didn’t have a chance in Jacksonville and it showed from day one that he was in over his head. Bortles will be in the same state as he played his college career and maybe that fact will help him out but who knows at this point.
Bortles will get his chance to prove what he can do at the pro level sooner than later. It will be interesting to see if Bortles ends up being the next Mark Brunell with the Jaguars and maybe he can lead them to a Super Bowl but Jacksonville still has more holes to fill. It would be best if Bortles has the chance to sit and watch to begin the 2014 season but sitting the No. 3 pick may not sit well with the fans and that pressure can make teams change their mind very quickly. Jacksonville and Bortles have work to do together or the Jaguars could be drafting another quarterback early in the first round again.