Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida (6)
A quarterback-needy team with the No. 1 overall pick and a quarterback-minded head coach? While Jadeveon Clowney is tempting, it’s hard to see this team pass up on their choice of quarterback prospect. This pick comes down to whether Bill O’Brien prefers the more pro-ready Teddy Bridgewater or the project who appears to have a higher ceiling and whom many have compared to Ben Roethlisberger…Blake Bortles. I’m leaning toward Bortles because of O’Brien’s connections with George O’Leary. Many of Bortles’ problems are correctable through coaching. O’Brien makes valuable impression when he was the only one of the three major quarterbacks to throw at the NFL Combine.
We all know that the Houston Texans are shopping for a quarterback in this year’s draft and it is certain they will be taking one with the first overall pick. With all of them on the board the question is which one falls here. My pick sticks with Blake Bortles as head coach Bill O’Brien has shown interest in the QB for quite some time. He reminds me a lot of the kind of signal caller O’Brien is a fan of. Strong arm and has a strong presence in the pocket. If he can develop his accuracy a little bit he will be great in the NFL. He sort of also reminds me of Jake Locker, accuracy issues included, the Texans just need to hope he avoids injury and doesn’t suffer the same fate Locker has to this point in his career.
New head coach Bill O’Brien can’t afford to miss with this pick. Everyone saw what happened to the Texans franchise last time they they drafted a poor QB with the No. 1overall draft pick, David Carr, but O’Brien is an offensive guy and Bortles fits the mold of the style of QB O’Brien has always liked. To me the pick is too risky, but if they believe in him more than all of the other QBs on the board, he is most likely the guy for the Texans.
With a new coach at the helm, O’Brien will want to hand-pick his future franchise quarterback. A lot of signs are pointing to Bortles being the pick for at the top of the draft. Bortles has mechanical flaws and his decision-making leaves a lot to be desired, but the tools are there to work with.
Before Matt Schaub was shipped out to Oakland, I still had Jadeveon Clowney going in this spot. Alas, new regimes mean new quarterbacks, and there should be no question of where Houston will be looking with the first overall pick. The Texans have the rare luxury of being able to draft whoever they want most. Bill O’Brien and company will build towards the future by grabbing the “next Ben Roethlisberger.”
As tempting as it would be to take the athletic phenom of Jadeveon Clowney at this point, Bill O’Brien and the Texans need to get a quarterback that they can sink their teeth into. While arguments can be made for Manziel and Bridgewater here, things seem to be shaping up for Bortles to go first overall. He is one of few physically imposing quarterbacks available in this year’s draft standing in at a tall 6’5, 232 lbs (cbssports.com), he has a strong arm, and he has the ability to get yards with his legs if the pocket collapses. Bortles led UCF to a victory over O’Brien’s Penn State team last year, and O’Brien was there to watch his stellar pro-day performance recently. That’s twice in a short period of time that he has witnessed Bortles talent up close and personal.