Will Blake Bortles be the first player to be picked in the 2014 NFL Draft? At the moment, it seems to be a close race between Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney and him.
A boom-or-bust player, the UCF Knight is one of the riskiest picks in this year‘s draft. Comparisons are going from Ben Roethlisberger to Andrew Luck, but also to guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick.
As a junior, he is an early entry and consequently inexperienced.
However, he also has lots of upside and the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
His most noticeable strength is his ability to keep plays alive, as he is not only elusive in the pocket, but also a great passer on the run. The 22-year-old has a strong arm and is one of the more tough and athletic players in the position group.
Unfortunately, there are also some problems to solve: His accuracy and ball placement is questionable, especially on the deep pass, and his rawness makes him a risky pick. And is he really that good of a quarterback, or does he play weaker when not playing in the AAC?
Nevertheless, a team in the top ten will make a move on him in May for sure. But which team would profit the most from him or rather, which team would be his best spot to start his career?
5. Oakland Raiders
There are not many teams in the NFL who have as many holes as the Oakland Raiders have. There is no team in the NFL with a better financial situation either, though. If the Raiders can sign a few promising players in the next few weeks, they could very well be in play for a quarterback in the first round.
Their current offensive leaders, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, are both inexperienced and might have showed potential last season, but were both majorly inconsistent. With the problematic circumstances at the position, Blake Bortles would have an opportunity to start immediately and show what he can do.
4. Cleveland Browns
Although Brian Hoyer showed lots of potential at the beginning of last season before he tore his MCL, the Browns seem to be frontrunners in the battle for a franchise quarterback in this year‘s draft. Johnny Manziel‘s name is mentioned the most, but how big of a chance is there that he‘ll still be available when the Browns pick? It will most likely be a toss-up between him and Bortles to come out undrafted after the top three. If the Browns think that they need a quarterback, they should take the remaining offensive leader.
3. Minnesota Vikings
With the eight overall pick in the draft, the Vikings are in one of the more difficult situations in the draft. Should they reach for a quarterback like Derek Carr or should they choose a defensive player like Khalil Mack? If Manziel, Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater aren‘t on the board anymore, they‘ll most likely go defense.
But if a guy like Bortles is still there, it seems like a no-brainer. Imagine the 22-year-old in an offense with Adrian Peterson, Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and others, and you immediately have the chance to get the problems on this side of the football solved.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
After an exceptionally good first week of free agency, Jaguars fans can look into the future more confident than ever. Head coach Gus Bradley seems to be the guy and the defensive side of the football keeps getting better with many additions coming from the Seattle Seahawks, Bradley‘s former team.
The receiving depth chart doesn‘t look that bad either, as they have young and promising players like Cecil Shorts III, Justin Blackmon and Ace Sanders on the roster; previously-added Toby Gerhart has the potential to be a star in the league, as he‘ll get the first chance of his career to shine as a No. 1 running back. What‘s missing is a quarterback, and Bortles could be the perfect fit. He would feel pretty comfortable as well with so many targets.
1. Houston Texans
Multiple rumors have been surrounding the Houston Texans and Blake Bortles in the last few weeks. The most recent one: The two parties will meet at the UCF pro day today. And it‘s definitely understandable, as there aren‘t many bad teams in the league which have a roster as complete as the Texans.
With players like J.J. Watt on the defensive side of the football, this part of the game seems to be mostly solidified. Meanwhile, on the offense not much is missing: Arian Foster is the running back, the wide receivers are Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and others, and the offensive line is solid as well.
The final missing piece is a franchise quarterback. As the first team to pick in the draft the Texans can choose from many great ones including Bridgewater and Manziel. However, they should take Bortles. He has the most upside and also seems to be a great fit in Bill O‘Brien‘s scheme. With that, the Houston Texans would be back in the race for the playoffs.