Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles runs into the end zone for a fourth quarter touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
UCF Knights quarterback Blake Bortles is one of the hottest prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft class and his stock is only continuing to rise. In his latest mock draft, NFL Draft guru Tony Pauline projected that Bortles would be the No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans.
Pauline says that Bortles is a “Bill O’Brien type of passer,” which would give him the edge over Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel.
O’Brien is also familiar with Bortles, who led the Knights on an upset victory over Penn State in State College.
Here is a look at the top five of Pauline’s latest mock draft, which you can read in full here:
This represents more than just the flavor of the day. Bortles has the physical skills and mental capacity to lead a franchise at the next level as well as too much upside to pass up. Bortles is also a Bill O’Brien type of passer and Houston is a franchise in desperate need of a signal caller. The owner would prefer Johnny Manziel, hence the comments about trading this pick but Bortles is a clear cut favorite.
Considering the talent on the Rams defensive line (no need for Clowney) and the need to protect Sam Bradford, Matthews is a natural fit. The versatility to line up at left or right tackle gives them options down the road with veteran Jake Long. The ability to start from day one makes this a no brainer.
Considering Jacksonville has needed a defensive end for almost a decade coupled with the fact the team is lead by a defensive coach makes this pick rather easy. Clowney will go a long way in helping put fannies in the seats as well.
Johnny Manziel will be a fan favorite and will get consideration at this spot but the Cleveland Browns cannot miss on this pick. Bridgewater is the closest they’ll get to a can’t-miss signal caller.
The need at the position for the Raiders coupled with the mystique Manziel brings makes this choice a natural fit. Were there ever a modern day Ken Stabler, on the field as well as off it, his name would be Johnny Manziel.
Josh majored in journalism at Seton Hill University and is currently Editor-in-Chief for FanSided.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Prior to joining FanSided.com as editor, Josh was senior editor at NFLSpinZone.com, TheLandryHat.com, CagePages.com and NFLMocks.com. His work has been featured on various media outlets including: ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com, NFL.com, FOXSports.com and CBSSports.com. You can e-mail Josh at [email protected]