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Jacksonville Jaguars take Blake Bortles with No. 3 pick

The Jacksonville Jaguars have thrown the first major curveball of the 2014 NFL Draft. And they've found their new franchise quarterback in the process.

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Central Florida's Blake Bortles is staying in-state, and will try to deliver as a top-ten pick in a way that Blaine Gabbert could not over the last three years. (Or Byron Leftwich last decade.)

Jaguars general manager David Caldwell patiently waited last year, not drafting a quarterback because he wanted the right guy to come along. They believe they may have found him in Blake Bortles. The decision is a stunner. We heard a lot of pre-draft conversation, rumors and off-the-record buzz about the Jaguars pick. We didn't hear anyone say that Bortles was a strong option.

The pick caps a dizzying rise for Bortles. He was an afterthought in the draft process as recently as December, virtually an unknown compared to Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. Now Bortles is the first quarterback off the board and a new face of a franchise.

Bortles will be expected to play sooner than later. Chad Henne is on the roster, but teams don't take a player No. 3 overall to sit on the bench for long, if at all. The Jaguars' offense doesn't exactly present a situation that is ripe for early success.

The team's best wide receiver, Justin Blackmon, might not play in 2014. The team's running game is led by a career backup in Toby Gerhart. The offensive coordinator is an inexperienced play caller in Jedd Fisch. The offensive line has plenty of question marks.

Bortles has the most classic starting NFL quarterback frame of anyone in this class, and has a huge arm. But he's raw and will have to iron out a lot of inconsistencies at the pro level.

This feels like Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley pushing their chips in the middle of the table. They are betting it all on Bortles.

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