Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Drafted third overall by his home state Jaguars, Bortles was the first QB to hear his name called Thursday night. Although Bortles wasn’t the most scrutinized quarterback heading into the draft, he’ll now have the added pressure of having to live up to his high pick, and also having the task of bringing Jacksonville’s franchise back from the dead.
The team’s March re-signing of Chad Henne looks even smarter with Bortles now in the mix. The former UCF Knight is seen as a high upside pick, who may need a season to develop in the Jaguars system. Henne at least made the Jags competitive last season, and was able to have some decent games even without Justin Blackmon and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Bortles can learn from Henne, and will really benefit from summer workouts and training camp where he can start to develop chemistry with rookie wideouts Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson. Although Gus Bradley won’t have to rush Bortles along, he also won’t be afraid to get him in the game if Henne starts and struggles. Love or hate the Bortles selection, one thing is clear. Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert-less quarterback situation is a step up from the last few years.