Blake Bortles became the first quarterback selected in the 2014 NFL Draft when he was taken with the No. 3 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Standing at 6'5, 232 pounds, Bortles fits the prototypical mold of an NFL passer, perhaps better than any player in the draft, and certainly more so than the relatively slight Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater. Bortles did not produce at Central Florida like those two did elsewhere, however.
Not that Bortles wasn't prolific. He is one of just two quarterbacks in UCF history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons, according to NFL.com. He had 25 touchdown passes to nine interceptions last season as a redshirt junior, and averaged a sterling 9.4 yards per attempt to put himself high on the draft boards of NFL executives. Bortles' star may have risen faster due to impressive pre-draft workouts.
Big Cat Country's Alfie Crow says the Jags are likely to sit Bortles for a bit with Chad Henne in the fold:
Bortles was a "late riser" in the draft process because most expected him to go back to school for his senior season, but he's got all the physical traits team look for in a quarterback and seems poised in the pocket under duress. It's likely he'll need to sit for a little bit and work on his mechanics, but the Jaguars noted they planned to sit any quarterback they drafted anyway.
Bortles threw well at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and followed the performance with an impressive pro day that shined even brighter in proximity to Bridgewater's. His arm appeared accurate and strong, enough to create rumors that the Houston Texans would be targeting him with the No. 1 overall pick.
Reaction to Bortles pick
In SB Nation's scouting report, however, Matthew Fairburn reminded us that tape does matter, and that Bortles may not be as ready as Bridgewater to start on day one, nor does he have the upside of Manziel. Still, Fairburn listed plenty to like, and Bortles entered the draft rated as the No. 16 overall prospect and third-best quarterback -- behind Bridgewater and Manziel -- on SB Nation's top 200 big board for this year's class.
Weight: 232 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.93 seconds
Vertical jump: 32.5 seconds
Broad jump: 115.0 inches
3-cone: 7.08 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.21 seconds
Bortles proved throughout the draft process that he can make all the throws with a strong, accurate arm. He is built like a linebacker, in the mold of a young Ben Roethlisberger. If Bortles can carry his best traits into the pro game, he will be a stud quarterback for years to come.