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Blake Bortles heading to Jacksonville, which needs receivers


The first big surprise of the first round was the Jacksonville Jaguars taking UCF quarterback Blake Bortles with the No. 3 pick.

Bortles (6-foot-5, 232 pounds) "is a prototypical pro quarterback," NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner said. "He's a great piece to build around."

Despite that, though, "I'm a little bit surprised that it's Bortles (as the first quarterback) over (Johnny) Manziel," Warner said.

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NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin liked the pick, but he also threw a wet blanket of sorts on the announcement.

"You better get some help around that kid," he said.

Jacksonville was 22nd in the league in pass offense in 2013, and the lackluster aerial performance can't all be blamed on veteran quarterback Chad Henne, who was re-signed and might start the 2014 season as the starter while Bortles finds his way. As Irvin pointed out, the Jaguars are not loaded with big-time receivers -- or, frankly, many mid-level receivers.

Justin Blackmon was the Jaguars' first-round pick in 2012, but he has underachieved and has off-field issues; there is no guarantee he will be back this season. Cecil Shorts led the Jaguars with 66 receptions last season, but he would be a No. 3 receiver on most teams.

One positive for Bortles and Jacksonville's front office: This is a deep draft for receivers, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Jaguars -- who started the draft with 11 total picks -- used three on wideouts. Potential second-day targets could be Penn State's Allen Robinson, Fresno State's Davante Adams and Clemson's Martavis Bryant in the second round (seventh selection in the round, 39th overall), while LSU's Jarvis Landry and Wyoming's Robert Herron could be third-round guys (sixth pick in round, 70th overall).

Targets on the third day -- Jacksonville has eight picks on the third day, including three in the fifth -- at wide receiver should include Grand Valley State's Jeff Janis, Tulane's Ryan Grant, Wake Forest's Michael Campanaro and Rutgers' Brandon Coleman.

With Bortles in the fold, the need at wide receiver overshadows all others, though an offensive tackle figures to be a position the Jaguars look to fill on the second day, in whichever round they don't go for a receiver.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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