After hearing from three very trusted NFL talent evaluators recently, I’ve come away with some info I didn’t have before, some info that changed my mind a little and some info that verified what I already knew. So today let’s give you the Intel that was shared with me on Blake Bortles.
From the various talent evaluators that I talked to they all pretty much said the same thing about Bortles, he’s not ready to play right now, but he may have the most upside and potential of any quarterback in this class.
Scouts and coaches love his size at 6’5-232 and his durability. They aren’t worried about him getting hit and knocked out of the game as much as they are with Manziel and Bridgewater and for Browns fans that would make him a good fit for the rugged and physical AFC North.
He also played in a pro-style offense or an NFL system at Central Florida, taking plenty of snaps from under center. He has some intangibles that team’s love like leadership, an underdog player who has worked hard to ascend over the years, he can extend a play with his underrated athleticism, but yet he will stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball while taking a hit. He communicates well at the line of scrimmage and has good football intelligence. His arm strength and accuracy are good enough to play in the NFL, but not great.
What the evaluators I talked to don’t like about his game right now is a lack of pin point accuracy on deep balls and throwing behind receivers at times. His ball placement will have to be better to be successful at the NFL level. Some passes that he got away with, or completed in college, would be broken up by NFL defensive backs. Also while his arm strength is good enough to play in the NFL, it’s not considered a major plus for him right now. Some of that has to do with his lower body fundamentals as he tends to be more of an upper body thrower. He must work on his feet and legs to better his arm strength to get more zip on the ball. But with the right coach and not being rushed to play, my sources tell me those things can improve and if they do, again, he could be the best QB in this class.
Bortles is your prototypical drop back quarterback with some athleticism that could make him very dangerous in time at the NFL level. If you draft him you need to know that in order for him to evolve into the quarterback you want him to be, that you think he can be, he needs to sit at least a half a year to a year, before he’ll be ready to play on an every Sunday basis. If you have that patience and good coaching, Blake Bortles could pay off for you in a big way.
The Houston Texans would be a perfect fit for Bortles. He’s the type of quarterback that Bill O’Brien loves and dreams about and has worked with over his years in the NFL and in college, but can you afford to take him at number #1 overall? Probably not. But don’t be surprised if the Texans end up with Bortles somehow some way before the draft is over.