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Jacksonville Jaguars Right in Drafting UCF's Blake Bortles

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Jacksonville Jaguars Right in Drafting UCF's Blake Bortles
Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars raised some eyebrows on Thursday night when they made UCF quarterback Blake Bortles the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

Many felt that going for Bortles with the third pick was a reach, and perhaps those criticisms are justified seeing where quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater ended up being drafted (22nd and 32nd overall, respectively).

However, taking Bortles third overall shouldn't be deemed a "mistake" by Jacksonville.

As teams like the Cleveland Browns (who have had 20 starting QBs since 1999) have demonstrated, it's not always easy finding a long-term solution at quarterback.

Even consensus top picks like JaMarcus Russell and Derek Carr don't always pan out.

So when the Jaguars had the opportunity to select Bortles on Thursday night, they were smart to take it. They could've traded back, collected a few more picks and hoped that Bortles would fall to them, and he probably would have. However, with Houston, Cleveland, Minnesota and others all looking for new QBs, it was far from a sure thing.

Instead of leaving it up to chance, Jacksonville pulled the trigger and got its man with the third pick. With every quarterback still on the board, the Jaguars had free reign to select any of them.

Obviously team personnel felt Bortles was the cream of the crop. If that's the case, it's hard to criticize a team for using the third overall pick on a player they consider to be a potential franchise quarterback.

Of course Bortles still has some developing to do, as could be said for every quarterback in this year's draft class.

But there's no such thing as a "sure thing" when it comes to the NFL draft, so you can't blame the Jags for trying.

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