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

Is Blake Bortles Just Another 2014 NFL Pre-Draft Trend?

 

Over the next couple of weekends, as several playoff teams see their season come to an end, the hype surrounding the 2014 NFL Draft will continue to heat up. That means more “team need” analyses, more roster re-signing and releasing predictions, more NFL Mocks, and more “Big Board” shuffling.

The latter of those is something that is happening on nearly a weekly basis at this point in the year, especially with College Bowl Season reaching it’s peak. A.J. McCarron likely saw his “stock” fall after a failed performance against Oklahoma, while Johnny Manziel skyrocketed up mock boards with his comeback over Duke.

However, the latest, and most drastic  “move” up the big boards may be University of Central Florida quarterback, Blake Bortles, who is now being considered a potential Top 3 pick in the draft.

Bortles has the prototypical size of a “traditional” quarterback, as well as the natural running ability that offensive coordinators are glamouring for in the new NFL. It also doesn’t hurt that he managed 3,500+ yards and 25 touchdowns this season. Here is what one analyst had to say,

Prototypical size and is big-bodied rusher with better athleticism than given credit for. Good arm strength with a smooth release with enough zip to fit the ball into small windows. Poised to deliver accurately under pressure and shows terrific peripheral vision and overall feel to see the entire field and not just lock onto his top progression. -Dane Brugler/Rob Rang

That combination of measurables and production has CBS Sports mocking him at No.3 overall in the upcoming draft, taken ahead of both Johnny Manziel and Derek Carr. However, it wasn’t too long ago that Carr was the “hot” quarterback of the mock draft world, who appears to have fizzled from an arguable Top 5 selection  into a fringe Top 10 pick.

Is Blake Bortles the “next big trend,” or is he someone that will sustain a spot as a Top 3 prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft?

The answer to the question will be very, very important to the St. Louis Rams in April.

 

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