April 25th, 2014
The 2014 draft is considered one of the deepest drafts with many talented and NFL ready players at each position. But teams like the Browns, Jaguars, Texans, Raiders, Buccaneers, Vikings, and Rams don't care about the wide receivers being one of the best ever or even some really intriguing defensive players, they just care about these quarterbacks. All of these guys know how to win whether it's a big name quarterback with a big name team and big name coach in A.J MCcaron, or even a quarterback in Eastern Illinois who led them to a 12-2 record, Jimmy Garoppolo. But to me there's one quarterback that stands out of the loaded quarterback class. That's Blake Bortles. When you hear the name Blake Bortles you might say "who?" but he is projected as the most NFL ready quarterback to start next season. So if you're one of those people who have no idea who Bortles is you're about to find out what Blake Bortles could do for his future team.
All college football quarterbacks are the same in the sense that they need time to develop but Bortles has that Ben Rothlesberger size, a great arm that produces accurate throws, and the athleticism to run if he has to which makes him ready and determined for a starting job. Last season in his junior year Bortles posted stats of a 67.8 completion percentage, 3,501 passing yards, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 25:9 with a 163.4 passer rating. With Bortles being at UCF where there isn't as much attention, he made the college football world look again at UCF because he put the team on his back with no supporting cast and climbed up the board over the likes of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr in the NFL draft. Bortles has great talent and potential to be an elite quarterback because of all the tools he has but I think he could be taken by Texans at number 1, the Jaguars at number 3, the Raiders at number 5, the Buccaneers at number 7, or the Vikings at number 8. The reason I say the Texans is that he wouldn't be changing climate, he would have weapons in Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, and he wouldn't have to be pushed in the starting role too early because they still have a solid backup in Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Maybe the Jaguars too because they need a quarterback and Bortles would be staying in the state he played in college so he'd be comfortable. The Vikings and Raiders are also in the hunt and have showed interest as they are probably done with Christian Ponder. But to me the best fit would be the Buccaneers. I believe if they put him down in Tampa he could excel. First, just like the Jaguars it is in the same state where he has been playing in college. Second, the Buccaneers have a couple of great weapons to work with like Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, a good offensive line, and Brandon Myers. And third, if Tampa drafted him he would have the most chance to win out of all four of these teams because the Buccaneers bolstered their defense with key additions and have a defensive minded coach in Lovie Smith that could take the pressure off his shoulders. To me it just looks like a great fit and McCown would be the perfect backup if he is not ready to be thrust into the job.
To me Blake Bortles has all the tools including confidence and a hard work ethic to be a starting quarterback. But he's just one of these many quarterbacks in this class that are not only ready to start, but ready to win.