The 2014 NFL Draft is two months away.
(Sidenote: I'm still a little salty from the NFL moving the date because I look forward to the last weekend in April for the draft ... but I digress.)
The big question is becoming more and more prevalent: Who is the Houston Texans going to draft for their first pick? I personally can see many different scenarios. However, I'm only going to focus on just one of them, right now.
So I'm reading the mock draft surveys on HoustonTexans.com, and I'm running across the appropriate names as to who these prognosticators think the Texans should pick as the #1 draft choice. Outside of the secondary, the Texans' biggest need is at quarterback. There's Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. the non-quarterback name that is mentioned is Jadeveon Clowney from South Carolina.
However, there is another name on the mock draft that keeps coming up: UCF's Blake Bortles.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gIDSdg9DhEBlake Bortles just might be the prototypical quarterback NFL head coaches like most.
He's already drawn comparisons to the Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger. Their size is similar. Their arm strength has been considered the same, as well. Plus, he could be someone new Texans head coach, Bill O'Brien, may salivate to teach. After all, he did tutor one Tom Brady when he was the quarterbacks coach, there. When he was the head coach at Penn State, he was praised for lifting the profile of the now-current Oakland Raiders' backup QB Matt McGloin and true freshman Christian Hackenberg. For O'Brien to have someone of Bortles' abilities would be something, I believe, would make him happy.
Bortles is 6' 5", weighs almost 235 lbs, has the hands NFL scouts love for a quarterback to have and, from all accounts, is coachable. Even though he is not known for running, he has decent scrambling ability, as well. He's completed a rock-solid end to his 2013 season by beating the then-#6 ranked, Teddy Bridgewater-led Louisville squad in the American Athletic Championship Game. Then, they proceeded to beat the then-#6 Baylor team at their own game - playing 'fast-break football' winning 52-42 in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.
However, a similar issue plagues Bortles as it does Bridgewater: The level of competition is not quite as high compared to Manziel and Clowney (who competed in the SEC). What also hurts Bortles' chances is that most signal-callers come from schools people can remember - with the rare exceptions of the aforementioned Roethlisberger (Miami-Ohio), 49ers Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) and the Ravens Joe Flacco (Delaware). Most quarterbacks who currently start in the NFL have come from more well-known colleges. So, it is important for Bortles to go all-out in Central Florida's Pro Day. If he does well, there, the Texans may decide to bring a prospect from The Sunshine State to be their next franchise QB.