QB BLAKE BORTLES, CENTRAL FLORIDA*

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6’4” – 230 lbs. – 4.80e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Redshirt
2011: 958 yards (68.2%, 8.7), 6 TD, 3 INT (21 – 4 – 1 rushing)
2012: 3,059 yards (62.9%, 7.7), 25 TD, 7 INT (87 – 285 – 8 rushing)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted as a true freshman, then appeared in ten games in a reserve capacity as a redshirt freshman. Took over the starting role in his sophomore season, being named to the All-C-USA Second Team.

POSITIVES:

•    Would enter the draft with two years of starting experience, escalating production.
•    Possesses a desirable combination of height and bulk for a starting quarterback.
•    Moves well in the pocket, does a nice job of sensing outside pressure, maneuvering.
•    Will remain in the pocket until the last second, taking a hit in order to complete a pass.
•    Makes good decisions with the ball, takes what the defense presents him with.
•    Throws a nice, tight spiral, is capable of adjusting his passes to use appropriate touch.
•    Accurate to all levels, well-versed in making throws to receivers down the sidelines.
•    Gets the ball out in a hurry, doesn’t take too long to make decisions with the ball.
•    Capable of squaring his shoulders and making throws downfield while rolling out.
•    Doesn’t generally run with the ball but has had some success when he does.
•    Has been utilized on read-option concepts, can do the same at the next level.

NEGATIVES:

•    Arm angle isn’t a true over-the-top delivery, drops to more of a three-quarters angle.
•    Underthrows some passes, especially downfield; throws off of back foot at times.
•    Tends to loft the ball downfield, relying more on his timing rather than his velocity.
•    Velocity also creates some concerns about his ability to navigate the middle of the field.
•    Fumbles on occasion and needs to do a better job of protecting the ball in the pocket.

SUMMARY:

Other than his lack of ideal arm strength, Bortles possesses almost every quality of an effective starting quarterback at the next level. Despite having started for only two seasons, he is a very polished passer, who demonstrates good footwork, senses pressure well, can buy some extra time versus the rush, and combines his accuracy and touch with sound decision-making. In addition to his mental tools and overall awareness, he displays mental toughness and has been at the forefront of a relatively minor program’s transformation into a team capable of competing with more talented squads. Bortles would have had a realistic shot at the first round even before Marcus Mariota decided to return to Oregon, but now he could easily come off the board ahead of any other quarterback other than Teddy Bridgewater. RD 1

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