NFL Draft 2014: Is Blake Bortles The New #1 Favorite?

NFL Draft 2014 VIDEO: First Look Event Update


Remember when Jadeveon Clowney was a lock? Then it was Johnny Football? Then it was back to Clowney. Everyone was in love with Teddy Bridgewater until four days ago. Well now it appears Central Florida’s Blake Bortles is the newest flavor of the week after he impressed scouts at his Pro Day Wednesday. 

ESPN’s Toddy McShay proclaimed that Bortles is now his new favorite to go No. 1 in May’s Draft after seeing him tighten up a few mechanical issues. 

“I’m not going to downgrade Bridgewater based on a subpar pro-day workout, and I still think he’s the most pro-ready QB in this class. He has the best tape and is the most accurate passer. But based on what I saw this week — and because their tape evaluations are so close — I think that Bortles is now the No. 1 QB prospect in this class, and I’ll be making that adjustment on my draft board shortly. The bottom line is that in watching these guys throw, specifically with regard to their ability to drive the ball downfield (an area of concern for both guys on tape), there was a noticeable difference between the two. There was a lot more energy on Bortles’ throws.”

CBS Sports also has Bortles as their new favorite to go No. 1.

“Bortles wasn’t perfect at his pro day (not that it really matters) but he showed improved footwork and didn’t under throw any deep balls. Despite the talent at the other positions, Bill O’Brien is too intrigued by the upside Bortles offers.”

The Houston Chronicle wrote Wednesday that Texans coach Bill O’Brien was very impressed, as was analyst Ron Jaworski.

“Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles impressed a contingent of NFL people, including Texans coach Bill O’Brien and general manager Rick Smith, at his pro day inside the Nicholson Fieldhouse. Bortles (6-5, 232 at the combine) made every throw during a workout that lasted about 30 minutes. ‘I was very impressed,” O’Brien said. “He made every throw I wanted to see, and he showed good footwork.’

…Former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski of ESPN graded Bortles’ pro day on a scale of 1-10. ‘I give him a 10,” Jaworski said. “I think he smelled a little blood in the water considering (Louisville quarterback Teddy) Bridgewater had a subpar day.’

Regardless if he goes No. 1 or not, Bortles will be a top 10 pick and arguably the best long-term quarterback of his class. He has size, smarts and an arm. Throw in his newfound celebrity girlfriend, Lindsey Duke, and he has it all.

It’s good to be you, Blake.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him @JHelmuth or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty