Many consider Blake Bortles to be the No. 3 quarterback prospect in the NFL Draft, but he may have an opportunity to gain ground on Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel by doing something they are unlikely to do at the NFL combine: throw. Bortles will participate in the combine passing drills, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network.
With many quarterbacks and their agents preferring the controlled environment of a pro day workout, those who choose to throw at the combine are often in the minority, especially among top prospects. Manziel has already said he will not throw at the combine and will instead wait for pro day workouts. Bridgewater has not said if he will participate in passing drills, although many talent evaluators expect him to bypass throwing drills, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.
Quarterbacks have shied away from throwing at the combine in an attempt to avoid a poor workout. They don't get practice time going through the drills and are throwing to new receivers. The lack of chemistry can throw off timing and cause some ugly results. While the strategy of waiting to throw until a pro day has paid off for recent No. 1 picks Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford and Andrew Luck, taking part in the drills could help Bortles. A good workout can impress, especially if the majority of other top quarterbacks, including Derek Carr and A.J. McCarron opt not to throw.
Some draft analysts, including NFL.com's Mike Mayock, have questioned Bortles' arm strength. He'll be able to answer those questions by throwing at the combine before getting another opportunity to throw at his pro day.