Blake Bortles has been No. 1 in my mock draft for a few months now, but we still have a long way to go before finding out if he ends up No. 1 on draft weekend in May. On Friday at the NFL combine, he made his case at the podium.
“I believe I can compete with any guy here,” Bortles said when asked how he stacks up against the other top quarterbacks in this group. “That's why I'm doing what I'm doing [every drill].”
So does he think he will go No. 1?
“That's not for me to decide, the goal is to be the top quarterback prospect,” Bortles answered. “That's why I left early.”
Bortles said his passing skills from the pocket and his ability to use his legs and throw from different platforms are skills that differentiate him from others in this class. He mentioned Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger as quarterbacks that he patterns his game after so it's no coincidence that he has drawn comparisons to both. While at Central Florida, Bortles showed flashes of Luck's release and arm strength coupled with Big Ben's size, mobility and clutch attributes.
However, Bortles wasn't shy about admitting that he still needs work and wasn't deterred from the thought of not playing right away as a rookie.
“There is no doubt I need coaching, I need help. Everyone does.”
Bortles also said it would be “special” if he receives the opportunity to play and learn for Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, something that is a realistic possibility with the Texans owning the rights to the No. 1 overall pick.