Measurables and Background
- School: University of Central Florida (UCF)
- Class: redshirt junior
- Hometown: Oviedo, Florida
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 232 lbs.
- Hand Size: 9 3/8”
- 40 Time: 4.93
- Bench: N/A (Pro Day)
- Vertical Jump: 32.5”
- Long Jump: 115”
Analysis and Grades
Size: A — Bortles has the prototypical height and weight desired in the NFL. He is tall enough to see over the line, and heavy enough to take hits in the pocket. His size makes him hard to bring down and won’t be brought down by arm tackles. His size also gives him a leg up on the other quarterbacks in this class.
Pocket Awareness: B — He gets rid of the ball quickly under pressure, and has an average feel for the pocket around him. Able to elude defenders with his mobility and extend the play. Needs to keep his eyes up when eluding defenders to see the open receivers.
Reads: B — He knows what to throw against different types of coverage, but needs to go through his progressions quicker. Needs to know when to bail out of progressions and check down. Knows his read when the play breaks down.
Footwork: B — Plays mostly from the gun so his work under center will most likely need to be improved. Needs to plant his feet more before he releases. He keeps his feet moving in the pocket.
Arm Strength: A- — My only complaint with his arm strength is the fact that he needs to step into his throws to generate more velocity and distance. He uses his arm to generate his throwing power, but by stepping into his throws his natural body momentum will add velocity. Has the arm to put the deep ball down the field.
Accuracy: B+ — It seems to be a trend now that quarterback prospects have more arm than accuracy coming out of college. Bortles lets passes get away from him with inconsistent technique, and could use some coaching. He can put it on the money when his motion is fluid.
Overall: The best feature Bortles possesses is his composure. Go back and watch the game-winning drive verses Louisville this past season and you’ll see what I mean. He also has surprising athleticism that can be seen in UCF’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Baylor this past season. Is Bortles a top-ten talent? No he’s not, but he has the tools to be a viable first-round talent, and he will be pushed up draft boards due to teams’ needs at quarterback. In recent mock drafts I have taken to ranking quarterbacks and their draft position based on where they would have gone in the 2012 Draft. In relationship to that year I would have Bortles slated behind Ryan Tannehill, but still a first-round selection that someone likely would have traded back into the first to snag. Bortles should probably sit his first season to study the NFL game, but the new trend is to start you rookie quarterback. We could potentially see Bortles forced to learn through trial by fire wherever he ends up.
NFL Player Comparison: Ben Roethlisburger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Grade: B+, 3.33
Draft Projection: Top 10