Jaguars introduce first-round pick Bortles
Updated On: May 09 2014 08:04:49 PM EDT
The Jaguars introduced first-round draft pick Blake Bortles on Friday at EverBank Field, saying he fits into what the team is trying to build.
General manager David Caldwell said the Jaguars felt all along in the process they would target Bortles.
"We feel really good about this pick, and we feel like for the future of this franchise it was the right thing to do," Caldwell said.
Bortles, who led the University of Central Florida Knights to a Bowl Championship Series victory this past season, said he's excited to be able to stay in Florida.
"Every time I met with coach (Gus) Bradley and everybody here, I left thinking that was awesome," Bortles said. "I felt that this was the best place. This was the place I wanted to be when I was on a visit here."
Bortles, the focal point in UCF's 12-1 season last year, said he feels like his college coaches instilled in him some pro-style tendencies that have helped prepare him for the NFL. He said among those will be protecting his body from injury and not taking as many hits.
Bortles said he played linebacker growing up and has always enjoyed contact. He said he also played baseball, which helped him transition to quarterback.
"We're looking for guys that are really competitive, reliable tough and smart, and we had checkmarks by all that for Blake," Bradley said.
Bortles said he's always had doubters and had only a few college offers coming out of Oviedo High School, including two offers to play tight end and three to play quarterback.
"I'm very self motivated, I think, wanting and worried about being the best that I can be and worried about my individual development, and how can I make myself better, how can I be better for the team?" Bortles said.
He said he and his family went to New York City for the draft Thursday night with no expectations.
"Had no idea -- (No. 1) or 100, it would've been awesome either way," Bortles said.
The 22-year-old said his family will be at every game this season, especially with just a drive of a little more than two hours from their central Florida home.
That's where Bortles will head this weekend to "pack a bag and head back." He'll start work on Monday.
Bortles is expected to play behind current Jaguars QB Chad Henne this season and learn from the veteran.
"I think if you have the right mindset about it, I think you'll be alright," Bortles said. "I'll prepare in practice every day like I’m going to play on Sunday."
Bortles said he went to five or six Jaguars games when he was in elementary school. There'll will be a few more eyes on him when returns to the stadium this season.
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