According to ESPN’s Britt McHenry, the Jacksonville Jaguars would have selected Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles even if South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was available. This is very interesting news coming out of Jacksonville, and shows just how highly the Jaguars valued Bortles. It seems a bit odd considering just how much the Jaguars could have used Clowney, but it reaffirms that Jacksonville believes that they have found their long-term franchise quarterback.
Per ESPN, The Jaguars would have selected QB Blake Bortles even if DE Jadeveon Clowney had been available.
— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) May 9, 2014
Bortles has shown the ability to be a playmaker in his last year at Central Florida, and led his Knights to a 12-1 record. He also led them to a big win in the Fiesta Bowl over Baylor. There are quite a few people that are concerned about this selection, but Bortles has shown the ability to be a great leader with great poise.
According to McHenry, the Jaguars view Bortles as a “one in a generation” type of quarterback prospect. That is very high praise for an unheralded quarterback until this past season. It will be very intriguing to watch Bortles over the next few years to see how he plays and progresses underneath the mentoring of current Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne.
Overall, this is just confirmation that the Jaguars have been planning to draft Bortles for quite some time. They decided a few weeks back after meeting with him that Bortles was a better fit than Manziel, or any other player in the draft. Jacksonville has a solid, young defense, and now they are beginning to build their offense.