Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fiesta Bowl Preview: UCF vs. Baylor

Led by junior quarterback Blake Bortles, AAC champion Central Florida will head to the Fiesta Bowl to take on Bryce Petty and Big 12 champion Baylor. Bortles has been on our radar since early September and after an excellent season, the hype train has caught up to him enough that he is being discussed as a potential top 10 pick if he enters the NFL Draft.

Petty is a good prospect in his own right, but has already announced he will return to school for his senior season after just one year as the starter in Waco. With the exception of Bortles the top NFL prospects in this game belong to the Bears, who can very well place three players in the top 100 in May.  

(JR) Blake Bortles, QB, UCF (#5), 6’4, 230

There seems to be a consensus top 4 among quarterback prospects this year that includes Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Johnny Manziel. I’m on record as saying Bortles should stay in school but with Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley returning to school among others, he may be wise to strike while the iron is hot if he can be a top 10 pick. Bortles has the arm to make every NFL throw and shows good accuracy on the move, even rolling to his left. His strength against the pass rush inside the pocket is reminiscent of Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger and Bortles certainly fits the physical prototype of an NFL quarterback. His mechanics are questionable at times which affects his accuracy and he needs to make better decisions against the blitz, but Bortles has the physical tools to be a good NFL starter as long as he takes to professional coaching.

Read the rest at Optimum Scouting

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