Draft Evaluation: Blake Bortles

He's been compared to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and Browns dominator Ben Roethlisberger. Does Matt Cloud agree?

Blake Bortles

6' 4" 230 lb- Junior

2013 Accuracy Chart:

5 Games vs: Ohio State 2012 / Louisville / South Carolina / Baylor / Penn State

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Throw Type

Throws Left

Throws Middle

Throws Right

Passes 20+ yards

2 for 6

INT

3 for 4 -

TD / INT

7 for 9

Passes 11-19 yards

4 for 9

INT / 1 drop

4 for 8

4 for 10

3 INTs / TD

Passes 0-10 yards

26 for 39

3 TDs / 1 drop

12 for 23

2 INTs / 1 drop

25 for 32

5 TDs

1 Drop

Passes Behind the Line of Scrimmage

7 for 9

TD

5 for 9

INT / 1 drop

16 for 16

TD

Anticipation - Grade = 4

Anticipation leaves MUCH to be desired. Very similar to Brandon Weeden in the sense that he tends to wait until a receiver has literally broken free of coverage before he considers him free & makes a throw. Needs a lot of work here. The area where he does do well in anticipation is on slant routes & designed timing routes.

Vision - Grade = 5

Leaves a lot of big plays on the field. Has a tendency to lock onto receivers or instead of keeping his head downfield will turn his head in the area of the field he intends to throw. Stats will fool you if you let them. When you see a high completion percentage, most of it is due to a tendency to check down as well as a lot of designed screen passes. At the next level, his inability to make it through progressions quickly is going to force him to either take a sack or pull the ball down too quick and take off running.

Mechanics - Grade = 4

Another area where Bortles struggles is with his mechanics. In reviewing tape, I often see Bortles throwing off of his back foot, especially when pressure gets remotely close. For a big guy, he seems a bit soft to want to "soften a blow" so quickly. Also throws a "jump" pass when rolling out, which takes velocity off of his passes. His throwing motion is a bit long & needs to be refined. Needs to learn to throw in a more compact motion while driving through his passes to be able to get maximum velocity. More than 50% of his attempts fail to come out of his hand smoothly, thus not a QB that spins it well. This will be a big Red Flag to Franchises based in cold weather cities. Bortles has a lot of Mechanical issues that will need solved before he steps onto an NFL Field!

Leadership - Grade = 6

Leadership qualities seem to be decent, but really not a lot that is noticeable in that area. That scares me a bit, simply because it is viewable in guys like Manziel and Bridgewater. Their presence on the field radiates through their teammates and you see them on the sidelines taking charge and speaking with their receivers, lineman, and the coaching staff. I did not evidence much of that type personality with Bortles, which makes me think that he may be more of a quiet type personality.

Decision Making - Grade = 5

Bortles decision making isn't awful, yet as stated above, he tends to check down a lot and most of his attempts are Behind the LOS to 10 yards, thus limiting a larger window for mistakes. In addition, he doesn't always make the proper read & tends to leave big play potential on the field.

Mobility - Grade = 9

Here is an area where Bortles does succeed. Very mobile QB, especially for his size. Has good vision in the running sense, knows when to hand off to the back or keep & does very well selling the pitch in the read option. Does well escaping a pass rush and eluding would be tacklers. Smart in the sense that he still understands he is a QB & the one guy that the team counts on behind center, thus makes sure he slides & avoids big hits.

Clutch - Grade = 8

Here is another area where Bortles shows promise. Seems as if he tightens up his mechanics & decision making when the game is on the line & even when UCF is simply in the Red Zone. With time close to expiring, Bortles was able to knock off Draft-Mate Teddy Bridgewater & the then 8th ranked Louisville Cardinals. He also led a nice comeback attempt when playing South Carolina, then ranked 12 in the nation.

Pocket Presence - Grade = 6

While playing in primarily a shotgun formation, Bortles will need time with a QB Coach to help him with deep drops from under Center, learning to properly slide as well as step up into the pocket when necessary.

GRADE = 47 of 80

PROJECTION = Round 1 * His size, mobility, & his coming from a small school has everyone comparing him to Ben Roethlisberger. My opinion is that Bortles is a Rd 3 prospect *

SCHEME SPECIFIC = West Coast Offense. Does not possess the arm talent for a Vertical System

COMPARISON = Tim Couch, QB Cleveland Browns

Summary:

I get it…. Bortles has "Prototypical" QB size for that of the Classic NFL QB. But, I think way too many have put too much stock the Intangibles & less on the Tangibles. I believe there are too many obstacles to climb to make his potential Top 5 worthy. Notice, his stock has seemingly SOARED since offseason workouts have started, thus the Scouts & such are looking at his abilities while he is simply sitting back comfortably, without a pass rush, & spinning it in a scripted forum. For me, too much stock is being put into workouts & potential rather than his on field accolades. Bortles is nothing more than a project QB that has a lot to learn & a long ways to go. This goes to show just how cocky QB Coaches, Offensive Coordinators, & Scouts are about their ability to mold a prospect!

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