GLENDALE – After displaying an impressive arsenal of passing and running, many NFL teams are wondering if Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles will come out in May?
Bortles, a 6’4, 230-pound junior, completed 20-of-31 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns en route to the Knights 52-42 upset win over the Bryce Petty-led Baylor Bears in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The biggest riser in many mock drafts, Bortles is currently projected to go as high as number one overall to Houston and as low as number four to the Cleveland Browns.
Mobile, athletic and an ability for extending plays in the pocket when they break down, Bortles has been compared to two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and 2012 top pick, Andrew Luck for his knack of heads-up smarts on the field.
Bortles displayed his running ability in rushing for 93 yards and one touchdown on nine carries. While throwing two interceptions early in the game, Bortles helped keep his stock high in making big plays throughout the game.
As of now, it is not know whether or not Bortles will declare for the 2014 NFL Draft,or wait till next year, but if there was ever a time for Bortles to bolt for the NFL, it would be now, due to the number of teams in need of a franchise quarterback such as the aforementioned Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings.
Another factor to consider in the case of Bortles is that with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota—possibly UCLA’s Brett Hundley—and Florida State’s Jameis Winston set to head a potentially stacked 2015 class, Bortles has a better chance of being taken in the top five in 2014, thanks to a marginal class that features Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd.
They say that when opportunity knocks, one should open, in the case of Bortles NFL door knocking, the question is will he answer?