No. 1 Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles celebrates after defeating the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
A quarterback-needy team with the No. 1 overall pick will never have a better opportunity to draft their franchise quarterback without sacrificing their draft. While Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack are tempting, a Bill O’Brien-led Texans team should take advantage of its draft position and find its signal-caller.
Which quarterback fits his system? My first two mock drafts had Teddy Bridgewater. While his lackluster Pro Day shouldn’t have much impact on this decision, I’m starting to learn toward Bortles. Here are three reasons:
- Competitiveness. Bortles has demonstrated his love for competition. He was the only one of the four main quarterbacks who threw at the 2014 NFL Combine.
- Connections. O’Brien coached under George O’Leary, who coached Bortles at UCF.
- Flexibility. Does Bridgewater have the deep-ball accuracy that O’Brien would want in his flexible offense? On pass of 20-plus yards, Bridgewater’s completion percentage drops approximately 20 percent (USA Today).
Here’s a comment that O’Brien made about what type of quarterback he prefers (CBS Local Houston):
"“Is he a winner. Is he a guy that is a leader on his team? Is he a good locker room guy? Is he going to be a great guy in the community? Is he a guy that’s going to study the game morning noon or night, be obsessed with the game. I think those are things that are very important for a quarterback.”"
Are you 100-percent confident that you’d get that with Johnny Manziel? No.
Bortles leads the pack with Bridgewater a close second and Manziel a distant third.