Re: Blake Bortles
Well, just finished watching the last regular season game for UCF and I think I can now give my opinion on Bortles after seeing all his games. First thing that popped out is that Bortles has the ideal height and build for NFL QBs. I noticed he can evade out of the pocket and pick up tough yards. A surprisingly good scrambler and reminded me more of Luck rather than Roethlisberger. He sees the field really well and flows right through his progressions. Accuracy comes and goes but that could be cleaned up with technique improvements. He does a terrific job of keeping his eyes down field and loses almost nothing throwing on the run to his right or left. I donít think Iíve seen a right-handed quarterback throw better going to his left. The arm strength is there, and he can make NFL caliber throws. When his footwork is precise and he steps into his throws he can look elite which, I think is the main reason scouts are starting to shoot him up on their boards. Heís shown flashes of making ďwindowĒ throws and touch passes over defenders. His last 4th qtr drive to seal the win AT LOUISVILLE was simply amazing. I was easily reminded of Joe Montana because of how he kept his cool and drove the Knight's 75 yards and the TD to get the win.
I also noticed his weaknesses. His confidence and arm strength are definitely positives, but they also get him into trouble at times. He has a bad habit of leaning back when throwing instead of stepping into his throws. His deep ball is tough to gauge because most of his passes in the UCF offense are short bubble screens, slants and out routes rather than vertical routes. Against South Carolina he was particularly lethal on slant routes and a lot of yards came from receivers running to open space. Also when asked to throw deep heís had mixed result. There are times he tries to force the ball into tight coverage or loses a defender underneath. While heís a load to bring down and rarely is handled by a single defender, he could improve on getting the ball out earlier to avoid a collapsing pocket.
In the end, I can see why Bortles is a name to watch throughout the draft process. Like I mentioned he has excellent size, feet, arm strength and has shown he can make all the throws. The test for him, and essentially also the other QBs we are all looking at, will be their decision making. It doesnít matter how many yards you throw for if you turn it over. Bortles isnít turnover prone but the interceptions IMO are the only thing holding him back from going first overall. Thatís a lofty projection, but all the tools are there.
For me its still Bridgewater.