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Jaguars draft trade rumors: Dave Caldwell declined deal with Atlanta Falcons

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The Jaguars nearly had a deal worked out with the Atlanta Falcons to slide to the No. 6 overall pick, but clearly Dave Caldwell wanted his quarterback.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars decided to stay put at the No. 3 overall pick and draft quarterback Blake Bortles, despite the fact that in essence the team had a deal in place to move down to the No. 6 overall pick, flipping with the Atlanta Falcons for a third round pick.

“I thought Wednesday night we were going to get it done,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told Peter King of MMQB. “But Thursday Dave called me and said, ‘We’re going to stay put and pick our guy.’” 

When Bortles, the top quarterback on the Jaguars board, fell to the No. 3 overall pick there was a clear conviction for Caldwell to draft his quarterback.

Many people criticized Caldwell after the trade made immediately following the Blake Bortles pick, when the Buffalo Bills gave up a 2015 first-round pick to move up to No. 4 overall and select Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. I speculated on Friday that it's very possible the same offer was made to Jacksonville, but Caldwell had his "franchise QB" in his sights and wanted to pick him. It's clear now Caldwell didn't think Bortles would make it to No. 6 overall, let alone all the way to No. 9.

“The reason I didn’t take the trade is there were so many teams that wanted quarterbacks—at one, four, five, seven and eight, and they were all within striking distance of us,’’ Caldwell told Peter King. “I just kept thinking, ‘One of those teams has to see what we were seeing in Bortles.’ So let’s say we move back and make a deal. What are we going to take in the third? A guard? You can find guards. You can’t find the quarterback you think fits your team best. So in the end it wasn’t a hard decision for us.”

Funnily enough, the Jaguars did take a guard in the third round (Brandon Linder), but Caldwell clearly subscribes to the notion that if you think a player is a franchise quarterback, you don't play around. You pick them.