Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Jaguars, Round 1. Redshirt junior.

Positives: Great height and bulk for the position. Adequate hand size. Average track speed. Adequate vertical leap and 3-cone drill. Above-average lateral quickness. Ran a versatile pro-style system in college with some spread elements, so he should be ready to run an NFL offense. Throws with above-average arm strength, adequate velocity, and nice touch. Shows above-average accuracy at all levels, on timing routes, as well as when he is on the move. Seems very poised under pressure. Is confident in his arm and is willing to try to fit the ball through tight windows. Knows when to throw the ball away. Moved around well in the pocket and buys time with his feet while keeping his eyes downfield for open receivers. When he has to run, he is a willing runner with above-average speed and good vision. Very effective as a short-yardage runner, and he runs strong – churning his legs through the whistle. Good balance after contact. Good play fakes.

Negatives: Tends to lock onto his receivers and not go through his progressions, missing open reads often. His throwing mechanics are below average and inconsistent. He tends to throw across his body on the run. Though his velocity is generally adequate, he will throw off his back foot too often or won’t follow through with his throwing motion, which cuts in heavily on his velocity. Throws with a three-quarter release point. Though he is generally accurate, he will go through streaks of inaccuracy. Below-average accuracy under pressure. Makes suspect decisions in the red zone, under pressure, and on the run. Seems hesitant in the red zone and in other clutch situations, and is late to pull the trigger. Has a lot of confidence in his arm, which can be great at times, but results in him forcing too many passes. Below-average ball security.

Projection: Before the draft, I projected him to go Round 1. I’m more than a little surprised he went number-three, though. But it’s the Jaguars. With only Chad Henne potentially standing in his way in Jacksonville, I expect him to start right away, but throwing to whom? Cecil Shorts, Ace Sanders and a few others who have bounced around until (unless) Blackmon comes back from suspension. He has a ways to go as a QB, and landing in Jacksonville probably won’t help him out. Is worth a second-round pick in your dynasty league drafts, but should probably be viewed as only a QB2 at best for the long term, and a QB3 for the short term.

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