To say Blake Bortles rise from relative unknown draft prospect to potential number one overall pick has been meteoric is an understatement. The Central Florida Quarterback’s impressive pro day cemented the fact that he will be one of the first names called on Thursday May 8th.

 

While heavily scripted, the workout allowed Bortles to show off his passing accuracy as well as the improvement he has made with his footwork. His early throws, which consisted of short to medium distances, were accurate and allowed his receivers to catch the ball in stride. Very rarely did his receivers have to stretch out to make catches.

One negative of the workout was his accuracy on deep throws. While he tended to have the passes sail over the heads of his intended targets, scouts in attendance were impressed with his touch and trajectory on the passes.

Bortles’s throws had plenty of zip on them, allowing him to make some sound throws in the seam and to the sidelines. On several occasions, Bortles showed off his improved footwork by dodging objects being thrown at his feet and then navigating around a coach who was directing the action. While he did not take snaps from under center, Bortles did take three-, five-, and seven-step drops as well as mimicking being in the shotgun before throwing passes.

Teddy Bridgewater’s lackluster pro-day left the door open for Bortles, and on Wednesday he made sure his name stayed in the conversation for first overall pick. It has been reported that 27 of the 32 NFL franchises were represented on Wednesday to check out Bortles, while many mock drafts have Bortles being selected within the first five picks.  NFL Draft Insider’s mock draft had Blake Bortles as the first selection overall.

His combination of size, athleticism, and arm strength places Bortles in the conversation for being a high draft pick. However, it is the hard work and effort that he displayed on Wednesday and throughout his college career that may allow him to complete his rise to the top.

 

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