BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Regardless of how the third and fourth picks in the 2014 NFL Draft played out, Blake Bortles would not be a Cleveland Brown no matter what.
With the Browns traveling to Jacksonville this week to take on the winless Jaguars, Browns head coach Mike Pettine was peppered with questions about their draft plans last May concerning Bortles.
Pettine admitted that even if Jacksonville passed on Bortles at 3, the Browns were not going to take him at No. 4.
“There wasn’t any quarterback in the discussion for us at four, but we certainly had a first-round grade on him,” Pettine said.
Jacksonville removed that option by using the No. 3 overall pick on the former University of Central Florida standout. With the success that Brian Hoyer has had and with Johnny Manziel, the No. 22 pick, on the bench things worked out just fine for Bortles.
“I’m definitely happy to be here in Jacksonville,” Bortles said. “Brian has been playing really well. He’s obviously a guy I respect. I think Johnny will get his opportunity, I’m sure, whenever that is. I was able to spend some time with him going through the draft process. He’s a really good dude, and I’m definitely cheering.
“As a quarterback, you cheer for other quarterbacks, and obviously somebody in your class, you wish the best for him. I hope he does really well.”
The Browns were prepared to select Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth pick had they not traded it to Buffalo for No. 9 and their 2015 first round pick. The Bills selected Watkins instead.
“I think if we would have stayed at four it would have been him,” Pettine said.
Although Cleveland had a first-round draft grade on Bortles, they weren’t the only ones surprised to see him go off the board as quickly as he did.
“I think it surprised a lot of people that he went there,” Pettine said. “I thought Jacksonville did a very good job of playing poker with that one. A lot of the information that came out of there, you wouldn’t think that.
“We knew that they liked him, thinking maybe, he could’ve potentially gone to them later in the draft, but he was a kid that was high on our board.”
It’s all revisionist history now but there’s no question that Bortles would love to get his first NFL win against the team that said it would not have used a top-5 pick on him.
Sports Stories You May Also Be Interested In
[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]