The Jacksonville Jaguars may have “reached” for former Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but it’s hard to call a quarterback drafted that high a reach. If a team is enamored with a specific signal caller, it simply cannot risk losing him by playing it cute during draft night. Time well tell whether the Bortles pick will work out, but Jacksonville absolutely killed it during the remainder of the three-day draft.
Here are some of the highlights of their selections.
Second Round, 39th Pick: Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver, Southern California
Lee might never be a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL, but he’s going to make the Jaguars extremely happy as a starter for a long time. Prior to an injury-plagued 2013 campaign in Southern California, there was some talk about him being a top-10 pick. If Lee is able to stay healthy, he can become one of the better possession receivers in the NFL.
Jacksonville made the decision to go out there and find players that will help an overdrafted Blake Bortles succeed early in his career. If you’re going to exhaust a first-round pick on a quarterback, you better surround him with talent. That’s exactly what the Jaguars did here.
Second Round, 61st Pick: Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Penn State
Cecil Shorts III
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Robinson, one of the most physically talented receivers in the draft, is yet another target for the young Bortles. There were many who thought he wouldn’t get past the Seattle Seahawks at 32. Instead, the Jaguars were able to pick him up with one of the final picks in the second round, just yielding their third and fifth in a move up with the San Francisco 49ers. Unlike Lee, Robinson has the ability to be a true No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville.
By virtue of adding Lee and Robinson to the mix, Jacksonville is likely going to part ways with the off-field “cancer” that is Justin Blackmon. Even then, they have one of the best young receiving groups in the NFL.
Fourth Round, 114th Pick: Aaron Colvin, Cornerback, Oklahoma
Colvin might redshirt after tearing his ACL during Senior Bowl week, but he was considered an early Day 2 pick before that injury. That’s pretty good value in the fourth round, especially considering that this was such a deep class at the cornerback position. Moving forward, Colvin projects as a starting outside cornerback opposite Dwayne Gratz, forming one of the better young cornerback tandems in the NFL.
Fifth Round, 144th Pick: Telvin Smith, Linebacker, Florida State
Smith is one of those sideline-to-sideline players with tremendous instincts and an ability to make a huge impact outside of the box. He needs to improve reactionary skills, but once that happens…watch out. Dominating in open space with an ability to be a difference maker in Jacksonville. That’s some mighty fine value at a need position in the fifth round. He figures to compete for a starting gig in 2014.
Fifth Round, 159th Pick: Chris Smith, Defensive End, Arkansas
I had a late second-round grade on Smith. He boasts a tremendous pass-rush ability from the EDGE and can play a position, LEO, similar to what Gus Bradley ran as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator. Look for Smith to make an immediate impact as a pass-rush specialist as a rookie. Another great value pick.
Photo: Matthew OHaren, USA Today