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Sources: Clemson QB Watson could go to Jaguars at No. 4

By
Alex Butler
Former Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson in expected to be a first-round selection in Thursday's 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, Pa. File Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI
Former Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson in expected to be a first-round selection in Thursday's 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia, Pa. File Photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI | License Photo

April 27 (UPI) -- League sources continue to discuss Jacksonville Jaguars picking Clemson's Deshaun Watson with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's 2017 NFL Draft.

According to Bleacher Report, unnamed NFL sources with knowledge of the situation continue to chatter about the Jaguars taking the National Championship star quarterback.

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Taking Watson would obviously be a sign of giving up on its 2014 first-round pick Blake Bortles.

The Jaguars picked its current gunslinger with the No. 3 overall pick that year out of the of the University of Central Florida. Bortles, 25, had a breakout campaign in 2015 when he threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns, the second-most passing scores in the league. He also led the NFL with 18 interceptions that season. In 2016, he saw a significant regression, passing for 3,905 yards and 23 scores against 16 interceptions.

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In his first two NFL seasons, Bortles was sacked a league-high 106 times. He went down 34 times last season.

Bortles is in a make-it-or-break-it season as he is playing on the final guaranteed year of his rookie deal The club must decide if it wants to pick up his 2018 option. He is due $3.2 million this season.

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Bortles' option for 2018 is worth steep $18 million. The Jaguars must decide on the option by May 3.

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Former NFL executive Mike Lombardi told Jacksonville.com last week that he believes new Jaguars vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin is "going to draft a quarterback."

"Coughlin's going to draft a quarterback," Lombardi said. "[Bortles] doesn't make plays down the field, he gets in the two-minute and is a disaster and his accuracy down the field is horrendous. Look, there are some times when we're all better off saying, 'We screwed that up. We really blew that. We have to admit we made a mistake.' He has to be a guy they have to replace. This is the perfect draft to do it."

Watson is currently projected as a first-round pick by most draft analysts. NFL.com draft experts say he could go as high as the No. 6 selection to the New York Jets.

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Day one of the 2017 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. EDT in Philadelphia, Pa. on Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The draft ends on Saturday.

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Watson, an All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate, posted a 32-3 record as a starter in three seasons for the Tigers.

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