INDIANAPOLIS - The pre-draft process is a chess match for quarterbacks. Every workout in which a prospect takes part, every throw he makes and every word that comes out of his mouth will be overanalyzed.
So some quarterbacks hold back. Some are guarded in interviews and most of the top quarterback prospects have decided not to throw at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, because it's not as controlled of an environment as a pro day. The reservation of quarterbacks makes it refreshing when a player breaks the mold like Central Florida's Blake Bortles, who will throw in Indianapolis.
"My mind was always made up, it was just waiting on the right time to announce it," Bortles said on Friday. "Getting information from a lot of people. But I want to compete. That's kind of who I am, that's what I want to do. I look forward to doing everything here. That's kind of the way I was brought up and who I am. So throwing really wasn't a question the whole time, it was just a matter of time until we told somebody about it."
Bortles has a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, so he has as much reason as anyone to be cautious about the events in which he participates. But he's embracing the unknown that comes along with this process.
"That's why I'm here, that's why I'm invited," Bortles said. "I believe that I can compete with any guy here, and that's why I'm doing everything I'm doing. That's why I'm throwing, that's why I'm running, doing all this stuff. Why wait until pro day when you have an opportunity to make your first impression here in Indianapolis? I grew up watching this as a kid and dreamed of competing in it, why would I sit anything out and do any of that kind of stuff?"
Bortles is battling with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel to be the top quarterback prospect taken in the draft, and while his decisions may be perceived as risky, he wants to show his willingness to compete and hope everything else works out.
"I don't think I'll know until May 8," Bortles said. "But I'll do everything I can and unturn every stone to make sure that when I'm sitting there on draft day, I'm not looking back saying I wish I would've done this, I wish I would've done that. I'll have done everything in my power to be the best that I can be by that day."