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QB Blake Bortles – Scouting Report

Blog by DailyFootballReport.com / @DFRDaleMason


2013 Regular Season Blake Bortles Highlights, AAC Offensive Player of the Year

Name:  Blake Bortles

School / Player Number:  Central Florida, #5

Position:  QB

Ht:  6’4 3/4”

Wt:  229lbs

Position Rank:  1

Overall Rank:

Daily Football Report Grade – 1st Round

NFL Projected Round – 1st Round

NFL Projection – Solid Starter

High School Career

High School Career:  Oviedo High School, Oviedo, FL

Senior Season – Completed 151 of 233 passes for 2,211 yards and 27 TDs with seven INT.  Led team to district championship.

Junior Season – Passed for 2,400 yards and 24 TDs with nine INT.

Accomplishments – MVP of Central Florida All-Star Game; All-County Selection.

Notable Scholarship Offers – Colorado State, Central Florida, Purdue, Western Kentucky, Tulane

Rankings – 247sports #38 ranked Pro Style QB, 3 star prospect; Scout.com did not rate, 2 star prospect; ESPNU ranked #68 QB, 3 star prospect; Rivals ranked #44 ranked Pro Style QB, 3 star prospect.

Collegiate Career

2010 – Redshirted as a true freshman.

2011 – Saw considerable action appearing in 10 games for UCF, completing 75 of 110 passes for 958 yards and six TDs with only three INT.  Earned Conference USA All-Freshman First-Team QB honors for his play.

2012 – Took a major step forward as a third-year sophomore in 2012 completing 63% of his aerials for 3,059 yards and 25 TDs with seven INT.  Also rushed for 285 yards and an additional eight TDs.  Earned 2nd-Team All-CUSA Honors for his play.  Did not throw an interception in his final six games of the season.

2013 – Became a household name to college football fans this past season as a 4th year junior by completing 68% of his passes for 3,581 yards and 25 TDs with nine INT.  Rushed for 272 yards and six TDs on the season.  Led UCF to BCS Bowl Game – Fiesta Bowl where the Golden Knights upset heavily favored Baylor with Bortles earning Offensive MVP honors for his play.  Named AAC Offensive Player of the Year and selected 1st-team All-Conference.  Semi-finalist for O’Brien Award.  Began to get national attention after his performance in upset win over Penn State in week three where he completed 20 of 27 passes for 288 yards and three TDs.   

NFL Skill Set Scouting Report

Description Analysis
Size/Speed: Ideal size for QB; Great height, body build and strength; Comparable to Roethlisberger; Above average speed for QB.
Arm Strength: Has very good arm but not elite; Can make all the throws but doesn’t have special arm like a Stafford did in 2009; Ability to throw deep out and consistently made throws to far side of field though at times they did float but arm strength is there.
Accuracy – Short: Very accurate in short-intermediate range; Ran multi-scheme offense but was in spread great deal with majority of passes inside of 10-15 yard range; Has ability to put ball in tight window; Consistently hit receivers in stride; Puts nice touch on pass and can drop the ball in a bucket.
Accuracy – Long: Did not consistently throw vertically in college offense and had tendency to underthrow in games I evaluated; Tended to float some passes w/too much air underneath but at other times would throw a perfect dart into a small crease; Able to thread the needle when needed but has some room for improvement in this area.
Mobility: Very mobile; Moves around pocket extremely well; Good pocket presence; Consistently steps up in pocket, does a good job of feeling pass rush; Able to extend plays with his feet and running ability; Is a viable threat as a runner and was often used in this capacity in college.
Throw on the Run: Throws very well on run; A great deal of roll outs in college, consistently hitting moving targets on the run outside the pocket; Keeps eyes downfield despite rush and does not lose accuracy.
Reading Defenses: College offense was more spread than pro style and he often threw quick hitches, screens, etc.; Did a good job of reading LBs but many reads ended after 1st/2nd option; Does a good job of staying in pocket and looking downfield but will require work on pre-snap reads; Threw more than a few interceptions the past two years due to not reading defense but this is expected at collegiate level in offense he ran.
Technique: Has strong mechanics but needs improvement in footwork; Has played in shotgun but also been under center so this is not completely foreign to him; Most under center snaps were run plays however; Does not consistently have correct footwork in follow thru but this can be corrected easily; Tends to open hips up too often but overall his mechanics are solid with expected improvement easily attainable w/pro coaching.
Release: Good, not great release; Good arm motion and delivery appears effortless at times; Can flick easily on some plays but tends to over stride on others; Release is quick enough but not elite; Has good release point and his passes will be difficult to knock down to his motion and height.
Decision Making: Sound decision maker; Consistently put his team in position to make plays and win; Will tend to force at times but overall grades out very well in this area; Limits his mistakes and doesn’t dwell or allow to negatively effect once play is over.
Leadership/Competitiveness: Strong leadership abilities on and off field; Very competitive; Had command over offense in college and took a mid-major school on football field to next level and BCS bowl champion in 2013; Took S Carolina of SEC to the wire and led team to 12-1 record as a senior; Showed competitiveness in victories over Louisville, Baylor and on road at Penn State; Alpha-male type, leader of men.
Durability: Plays thru injuries and proved to be very durable at UCF.

 

2014 Combine

40 yd dash

Hand Size

Vertical jump

Broad jump

4.93

32 ½’’

32 ½’’

9’7

Short Shuttle

Arm Length

Bench press

Three-cone

4.21

32 7/8’’

DNP

7.08

2014 Pro Day

40 yd dash

Hand Size

Vertical jump

Broad jump

DNP

 N/A

 DNP

DNP

Short Shuttle

Arm Length

Bench press

Three-cone

DNP

N/A

DNP

DNP

 

Summary:

Bortles is a player that I enjoyed evaluating and came away slightly surprised at just how good he was at Central Florida.  Having watched him play on numerous occasions the past two seasons I felt somewhat educated on Bortles entering into my evaluation however as I have experienced many times before watching someone play and evaluating their skill set are very different experiences.  Let’s start with the positives, Bortles is a big quarterback at a hair under 6’5 and 230lbs.  What surprises you is how athletic and well he moves for such a large signal caller.  In the games I evaluated Bortles ran numerous draws and designed quarterback options.  Though, his forty time is not overly impressive he plays faster and is a load to bring down in the open field due to his size and strength.  Make no mistake he is a threat running the ball.  This however, it is not why I rank him so highly.  Bortles has a very good, not great arm but he can make all the throws that will be required of him at the next level.  What he does so well is make plays the right way.  He is constantly looking down the field and has a keen awareness of his pocket and throwing windows.  Bortles feels the rush instinctively, consistently steps up and then side steps outside the pocket.  He has quick feet and good field vision, which enables him to move around easily and still target receivers down the field.  His accuracy in the short-intermediate range is excellent and has exhibited the ability to fit the ball into a tight window of space.  Bortles will also stand tough in the pocket until the final moment and still deliver a strike while taking the big hit.  His area of opportunity exists primarily in two areas, his footwork in his pass drop and delivery along with his vertical pass accuracy.  Bortles has taken snaps under center though many tend to be run plays.  I’m not overly concerned about this however he is inconsistent in his delivery footwork and his hips tend to fly open at times causing some accuracy issues.  This is easily correctable at the next level.  On the deep ball he will tend to put too much air underneath his pass causing them to float and the receiver to wait.  This can be dangerous at the next level.  However, he has the arm strength to correct this and I don’t anticipate it being a continual problem in the future.   The offense he ran at Central Florida was primarily slants, screens, etc., which may have a little to due with the inconsistent vertical passing.  He just did not do enough of throwing the ball down the field to perfect.  Overall, there is a great deal to like with Bortles and he should only get better.  His tenacity, mental toughness, leadership, athleticism, arm strength and commitment to the game are very appealing.  Simply put, he has just about everything you want in a QB at the next level.  I have no doubt he will be a first round selection and it would not shock me if he were considered for the first overall pick in this draft.  At a minimum I would expect him to be among the top 10-15 players selected in round one.