2014 NFL Draft: Blake Bortles Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On March – 24 – 2014

"Blake Bortles"

Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports


No: 5

Age: 22

Height: 6050

Weight: 232

Arm length: 32 7/8″

Hands: 9 3/8″

40 Time: 4.93

3-Cone: 7.08

Vertical: 32.5″

Broad Jump: 9’5″


  • Grew up in Ovieda, FL
  • Committed to UCF over offers from Purdue, Colorado State, Western Kentucky, and Tulane – many of which had him pegged as a TE
  • Redshirted as a freshman in 2010. Played in 10 games as a RS Freshman passing for 958 yards and 6 TD’s.
  • 36 career games played amassing 7,598 yards, 56 TD’s to 19 INT’s
  • Named Offensive MVP of Fiesta Bowl in a 52-42 upset over Baylor as a junior

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  • Prototypical passer from size standpoint
  • Good pocket presence that keeps plays alive with eyes down field
  • Good athlete – capable of making/extending plays with his feet
  • Led his team to a handful of upsets as a junior – Penn State, Louisville, Baylor
  • Notices blitz quickly and hits outlet with regularity
  • Shows good awareness of the offense at line of scrimmage
  • Plenty of arm to make all the necessary throws at the next level
  • Solid footwork and balance on the move


  • Shoddy lower body mechanics, leads to him spraying throws
  • Struggles with the complexity of defenses. Late movement in the secondary confused him (South Carolina)
  • Overall balance struggles – often makes throws off balance
  • Elongated throwing motion will cause issues in NFL
  • Has struggled with fumbles throughout his career – relatively small hands for his size
  • Gets locked into half the field and often one read causing him to force the ball into tight coverage. He got away with many of these mistakes at UCF but same can’t be said in the NFL


Blake Bortles is a prototypical NFL signal caller on the hoof. At 6-foot-5, 232 pounds with more than enough athleticism it’s easy to see why many are falling in love with Bortles and why he could be the first overall pick in May’s draft. He carries a ton of upside with his game but is more experienced than many give him credit for – 36 career games played. His ability to extend plays with his combination of size, strength, and athleticism has many thinking Ben Roethlisberger. Unfortunately, I see far too many issues to warrant a first round grade for me.

Bortles lower body mechanics were all over the place from year to year. He, like many, athletes at the position struggle to sync their upper and lower body – leading to less than desirable accuracy. Additionally, he locked into his first target on a regular making throws into tight coverage. In six games I viewed, I counted 11 times that Bortles didn’t leave his first option and forced throws into coverage. He was able to get away with many of those instances due to the competition but that scares me at the next level. I watched Bortles live at Ohio State in 2012 and he looked confused after OSU made adjustments – shifting coverages late. I saw the same against South Carolina. He will need to work at recognize and adapt to late moving coverage as he’ll get it more often than not in the big leagues.

Bortles’ ability to make plays on the move will be a major plus early in his career. However, if he wants to live up to his draft status (probably a top end of round one guy) he’ll have to make the adjustments necessary to throw under duress in the pocket at the next level. 



2:55 – Steps up into clean pocket and delivers a strike down the middle of the field on a dig route. This shows what he’s capable of when he can step into a throw on balance.

8:37 – Thing of beauty. Slips, composes himself, avoids the rush by stepping up and gets enough on the throw to beat the safety.


4:50 – He rushes this throw, is off balance and makes an errant throw on what should have been an easy pick up.

6:10 – Throws off balance, off back foot. Needs to stay tall, take contact and deliver.