The 2014 BTB Community Draft continues!
This is our favorite opportunity to interact with our community and allow them some front-page limelight, while simultaneously getting our first in-depth look at several candidates for the draft's first round.
This will be much more than just one community member's idea of how to help out their assigned teams. After each selection is forwarded to me, I will gather all of the pertinent information about this prospect from some of the internet's best draft resources. We will try to highlight the profile's best and worst traits, so that our reader's are highly educated come May 8th when these guys names are called.
To keep things simple, no trades are allowed; I think for a one round exercise that does little to actually project how things are going to turn out. One GM, one team, one pick. Let's get it on!
Draft Pick # 4
Team Name: Cleveland Browns
GM: Archie Barberio
Selection: (QB) Blake Bortles, University of Central Florida
Why the pick:
Extremely tough decision, I love Sammy Watkins here but we need a QB and decide to take Blake Bortles. The Browns could've had the most dangerous WR duo in the league but they need a franchise quarterback and I believe Bortles is that guy for Cleveland. The combination of size, arm strength and athleticism sells the entire war room and we may have found the missing piece on offense that's plagued this franchise for what seems like forever.
Hopefully Bortles isn't another Tim Couch, but it's a risk I'm willing to take if he turns into the next Andrew Luck. This isn't a deep quarterback draft, so taking our guy with our first pick just makes sense and we now have the option of potentially grabbing Josh Gordon's sidekick at 26. Remember this is a deep wide receiver class and there will be value when the Brownies pick again later in the first round.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Quarterback
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Free Safety, Cornerback, Guard, Feature Receiver, 3-4 Outside Linebacker
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Inside Linebacker, Right Tackle, COP Running Back, 3-4 Defensive Tackle, 3-4 Defensive End
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Strong Safety, Feature Back, Speed Receiver, Fullback, Tight End, Center, Left Tackle
-- Drafttek.com ranked #11 Overall, #3 at the position
-- Russ Lande, National Football Post: #37 Overall, #4 at the position
Bortles is a fourth-year junior and a two-year starter at UCF. Coming out of high school he was a three-star recruit who had offers from schools such as Purdue, Western Kentucky, and Colorado State. He has excellent size at about 6'4 - 230 to go along with good athleticism and play speed. At the Combine, he should run in the 4.7 area. He plays in a multi-offense and plays from both under center and in the spread. The Central Florida scheme is closer to a pro-style offense than many other college offenses. Bortles had good production this year, completing 259 of 382 passes for 3581 yards, 25 TDs, and nine interceptions. His completion percentage was just under 68%, but I don't put a lot of stock into that stat at the college level. I feel ball placement is a far better indicator of a college quarterback's accuracy because of how wide open many college receivers are.
When playing from under center, Bortles can set up fairly quickly. He has a good feel for pass rushers, but he will often run out of the pocket when he is pressured instead of stepping up into the pocket. He shows he can go through a progression and find the open receiver, but there are also times when he will stare down his primary receiver. While he can go through a progression, you seldom see him look off a receiver and come back to another. He flashes making some really good throws, showing good timing, and getting good zip on the ball. He also has a lot of throws where his timing is off and he doesn't set his feet. You see a lot of throws where he is not in proper balance. I feel his decision making is inconsistent. He is at his best against weaker opponents and when he isn't pressured, but in games like South Carolina, when the competition is very good, he can struggle and make poor decisions. His throwing motion and release quickness are adequate. When you watch enough tape, you can see that he will change his throwing motion at times. He doesn't have a really quick release. There are guys who make a decision, and the ball is out of their hand instantly. That isn't the case with Bortles, and it allows DBs to get a jump on the ball (see So. Carolina)
-- CBSSports.com ranked #3 overall, #1 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #5 overall, #1 at the position
-- OptimumScouting.com ranked #2 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #34 overall, #2 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #7 overall, #1 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #2 at the position
-- Josh Norris ranked #30 overall, #3 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
Good height and a NFL-build. Very athletic mover and picks up chunks of yards with his legs. Anticipates pressure and uses his mobility to move the pocket. Quick feet with very good pocket footwork and maneuverability.
Climbs well and keeps his eyes downfield. Good set up and delivery with a balanced base and quick eyes to survey his reads and take what is there. Terrific peripheral vision and feel to see the entire field. Above average poise and accuracy under pressure. Efficient decisions and always under control of the situation.
Smooth release with good zip and the arm strength to get away with off-balance throws. Very good rhythm and timing from snap to delivery and won't shy from tight windows with his confident arm. Tough, hard-nosed ballcarrier and delivers well on the run.
Strong competitor and exudes toughness, leadership and confidence. Coachable with a high football IQ - game comes natural to him. Hard worker on and off the field and already prepares like a pro. Very alert and observant. Recorded 71 career touchdowns (56 passing, 15 rushing) and a .815 winning percentage as a starter (22-5 career record).
Can make every throw, but lacks elite arm strength. Ball placement has room for improvement and his touch is undeveloped. Throwing mechanics have room for refinement. Doesn't always step into his throws and will sometimes deliver with his momentum falling away from his target.
Needs to learn how to better use his eyes to hold defenders - will too often lead defensive backs to the intended target. Not afraid to take chances, but too many risky throws.
Room to improve his spatial awareness from inside the pocket. Deep accuracy is a work-in-progress. Ball security when scrambling has room for improvement.
'13 Blake Bortles vs Louisville
'13 Blake Bortles vs South Carolina