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2014 NFL Draft: Blake Bortles to throw at Scouting Combine

By Derek Harper | The Sports Xchange/

Blake Bortles took a refreshing approach in announcing he will throw during quarterback drills at the Scouting Combine on Sunday. The No. 5 overall prospect and second-rated quarterback by, Bortles is embracing the opportunity to throw in front of NFL scouts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Bortles immediately joined the debate as the top quarterback prospect in this year's draft when he announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility at Central Florida. He is currently rated behind only Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, who has yet to announce his plans for the combine workout.

Bortles' decision may force Bridgewater's hand, as the former UCF star is already projected to go No. 1 to the Houston Texans by's Dane Brugler and's Pete Prisco and Pat Kirwin. While Bridgewater is considered the far more polished passer and NFL-ready coming out of Louisville's offense, Bortles boasts a tantalizing combination of size, athleticism and general upside.

Johnny Manziel, the No. 3-rated quarterback and No. 7 prospect overall, has decided to skip the throwing drills in Indianapolis while he continues to work on his mechanics with noted QB guru George Whitfield. The decision garnered plenty of criticism, especially in light of Bortles' announcement.

Manziel's decision wasn't surprising, with the majority of top quarterback prospects over the past decade choosing to skip throwing at the combine in favor of controling the environment at a personal pro day in March or April, where they can throw to receivers they are familiar with in a passing regimen created by their representatives.

In deciding to throw in Indy, Bortles is taking a calculated risk. He clearly wants to prove to NFL scouts he's worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, and that no fear attitude and competitive desire certainly will score check marks with talent evaluators.

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