UCF Knights star quarterback Blake Bortles would be one of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft if he decides to declare, and it was thought for the longest time that Bortles would stay at UCF for his senior year. However, over the past month Bortles has received much more hype and recognition than he did before, as he was a true sleeper following his junior campaign. Now, he’s a bona fide prospect, and most people have Bortles in the top ten of their mock drafts. In fact, either Bortles or Derek Carr is regarded as the No. 2 QB in the class behind Teddy Bridgewater, who declared for the draft yesterday, and there are some who even believe that Bortles is worthy of the top pick in the draft.
The NFL Network’s Gil Brandt reported that Bortles will decide on his draft status once he receives an official grade from the NFL’s Advisory Board, and it’s important for Bortles and others to keep in mind that the advisory board is conservative with the grades they give to players (this is on purpose, because they don’t want to be held liable for getting a prospect to declare for the draft, only for that player to realize that they were picked far lower than expected). For example, projected first-round pass rusher Vic Beasley was tabbed as a second-round pick by the committee before deciding to declare for the draft.
It will be interesting to see if the board states that Bortles is a first or second round pick, but even most of Bortles’s critics have him as a first-round prospect. He’s been compared to Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and, most famously, a mini-Andrew Luck by scouts and analysts, and he is considered to be among the “Big Four” QB prospects in the draft class (Bridgewater, Carr, and Johnny Manziel are the other three).