The 2014 NFL Draft is filled with players looking to make it big at the next level. Among those players, Blake Bortles, a quarterback out of the University of Central Florida, has become one of the more hyped up players in this draft class. Many are impressed with Bortles’ lively arm and intangibles, but is he worth all the hype?
The short answer? No. Bortles is suffering from a case in which some members of the media are wrongly hyping him up to be a franchise quarterback at the next level. While Bortles passes the eyeball test — strong arm, athletic, good size — there is just something missing. Don’t get me wrong; Bortles has all the tools to be an effective starter at the NFL level, however, he’s more of an Andy Dalton than a Peyton Manning.
Bortles’ most noticeable flaw is his sometimes questionable decision making. He needs all sorts of work on how to read a defense, and although these are both fixable things it will take time. If Bortles is pushed into action as a rookie, his confidence might erode to the point that it wouldn’t matter if he can read a defense or not. It all starts in Bortles’ footwork. He has a tendency to get rather sloppy in his dropbacks which often times leads to Bortles throwing off-balance and forcing the ball. A correctable flaw? Yes. However, that is an issue that absolutely must be sorted out before Bortles steps foot on an NFL field.
The bottom line is this: Blake Bortles isn’t a guy who can carry a team by himself at the next level. He is a supporting piece in a good offense. He’s not a bad prospect by any means, but Bortles simply isn’t the franchise quarterback many have made him out to be. Bortles is an Andy Dalton-type prospect, and that’s not a bad thing. However, those looking for a game-changer in Bortles will be inevitably disappointed as he simply isn’t that type of player.