Data Scout Notes: **2013: OPOYC/1stC...POBrien/PMaxwell/PUnitas/PManning/TSX-PTW...2012: 2ndC
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Draft Scout News
05/12/14 - Jaguars say Bortles will be developed slowly...Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley loves the competitive attitude that Bortles brings to the team. He lauded his work in leading Central Florida to a 12-1 season including a Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor in which Bortles was named the game's offensive MVP after completing 20-of-31 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns. Bradley said he will put more emphasis on helping Bortles improve throughout the 2014 season. "My No. 1 mission right now is to provide this environment where he has a chance to improve," the Jaguars coach said. "I think if we can and we stay strict to it, he'll get a chance to improve at a faster pace. That's what we're really looking for. It might take him a year, might take them a half of a season. I think we've got to be patient. I think we've got to be really disciplined with him and stay on course."
Bortles is only the third quarterback that the Jaguars have drafted in the first round in their 19-year history. Byron Leftwich was picked No. 7 overall in 2003 and started 13 games as a rookie. He stayed with the Jaguars through his five-year rookie contract before he was let go. Gabbert was here less than that. Fans can only hope that Bortles doesn't follow a similar path than the previous two top-10 quarterback picks by the Jaguars. - The Sports Xchange
05/12/14 - Jaguars say Bortles will be developed slowly...Caldwell made it clear that last year's Jaguars starting quarterback, Chad Henne, will remain just that, heading into the 2014 season. "Chad knew all along when we re-signed him in the offseason we were honest with him and he's been great. We told him there was a chance we were going to draft a quarterback," Caldwell said. "I like what Chad's been doing in this offseason. He will probably give us the best chance of winning this year and Blake will be the guy of the future." Bortles comes to town with a winning attitude and impressive statistics. He appeared in 37 games for the Knights, starting his final 30 games. He passed for 7,598 yards and completed 65.7 percent of his passes and finished with 56 touchdown tosses.
But that was college and the NFL is a different level. Bortles knows he has an adjustment to make. "I obviously have some things I have to work on. I've never looked at an NFL playbook so there's going to be challenges that I'm going to have to overcome," Bortles said. "But I can't wait to get there and work to be the best I can be and start competing." Bortles even said he would be fine with not even appearing in a game his rookie season. "I would have no problem with it, but I would go into practice every day and prepare every day like I'm a starter. I think that's the kind of mindset you have to have when you are in that position. I would have no problem doing that and taking a full year to learn and soak up as much information as I can." - The Sports Xchange
05/12/14 - Jaguars say Bortles will be developed slowly...In the end, picking Blake Bortles as their quarterback for the future was simply too important for the Jacksonville Jaguars to pass up. When that future will start is the key question. One thing for certain, there won't be undo pressure put on Bortles to become an instant starter as a rookie. General manager Dave Caldwell made that clear in his opening statement in explaining why the Jaguars went with the former Central Florida starting quarterback. "We have a plan going forward about his development," Caldwell said. "This is not a quick journey, a race to the end. We will not rush him. Quarterback is such an important position, you want to do it right. This is something we want to build for the long term."
What Jaguars fans have to hope is that Bortles is not a clone of the last time that the Jaguars drafted a top-10 quarterback. That would be in 2011 when the Jaguars selected Blaine Gabbert of Missouri as the 10th overall pick. The two quarterbacks are similar in size: Bortels is an inch taller, Gabbert three pounds heavier. Gabbert never materialized as a starting quarterback for the Jaguars. He was pressed into service as a starter in the third game of his rookie season and struggled for the next 13 games. He finished with 2,214 passing yards, a 50.8 completion percentage and just one more touchdown (12) than interception (11). It never got better in either of the next two seasons either, as he battled injuries, bad throws and was the target of Jaguars boobirds. - The Sports Xchange
05/12/14 - Visiting with Jaguars officials in Jacksonville brought back old memories for Bortles who said he had been a fan of the team while growing up in Oveido, an Orlando suburb. "I grew up going to games there," Bortles said. "I have probably been to five or six games in my life. Last year I watched any time there was a (Jaguars) game on TV. I did watch many games the last few years." That being the case, Bortles is even more aware of the need for improved play at the quarterback position. The Jaguars haven't had a solid year at the spot since 2011 when David Garrard produced a 3,000-yard season in the air. - The Sports Xchange
05/12/14 - Jacksonville's first-round pick, quarterback Blake Bortles, grew up watching the Jaguars and attending some of their games. Now he's one of them. When Jacksonville made Bortles the No. 3 overall pick in this year's college draft, it cemented the love-fest between the two sides, one that had been growing since Bortles met with team officials at the combine and later in individual sessions, including at the team headquarters. Bortles anticipated that the Jaguars might take him with their first-round selection. "I did. I walked out of there and I remember calling my mom and saying, 'Man that went really well and I really hope I get an opportunity to play in Jacksonville. That would be awesome.' I definitely got great vibes seeing them there."
Bortles apparently gave off some telling vibes of his own. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Bortles showed excitement about being in Jacksonville and talking with team officials several weeks before the draft took place. "He told me, 'If this was like college and I was going through the recruiting process, I would sign today,'" Bortles told Bradley. "He really liked it here. He thought everything how our vision was, how we were going to take him through this proves. He felt like it was an opportunity where he could really get better. It just all fit together." - The Sports Xchange