UCF's Blake Bortles is the best quarterback prospect in this year's draft class, according to NFL Films producer Greg Cosell.
"I would say he's more of finesse thrower than a true power thrower at this point, but I think there's a lot to work with, with Bortles," Cosell said on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast. "I think ultimately he's a pocket passer who can execute boot action. He can extend plays and he can run effectively if that's what you want to do. So, I think that he's someone I would look to as, given time, he could be a quality NFL starter."
That's not to say Cosell doesn't see flaws in Bortles' game. Cosell likes Bortles' size (6-foot-5, 232 pounds), but said he sees issues with his footwork in the pocket and that he'll become a stronger thrower if he can correct those flaws.
Cosell is not as high on Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and seems to have an even less-favorable opinion of the other quarterback that makes up the draft's three most highly rated at the position -- Johnny Manziel.
Cosell is already on the record that he was not impressed with what he saw from Manziel late last season, and he added to the critique of Manziel's game, suggesting his freelancing style won't get him far at the next level.
"I think it's very hard in the NFL to live on the edge when you don't need to live on the edge," he said. "If you live on the edge too often, you will fall off the cliff."
As for Bridgewater, Cosell said he likes him, but doesn't think he has the "physical talent" to put a team on his back. While the former Cardinals quarterback weighed in at 214 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, a significant increase from the weight he was believed to playing at during the 2013 season, Cosell still views size as a major weakness for Bridgewater.
"The issue with Bridgewater is he's very slight. He's not a big body," Cosell said. "He's got a good, not a great, arm. Theoretically, he could make every throw, but making every throw when you have clean pockets is different than making every throw when you don't. He doesn't really drive the ball, Bridgewater. He's a bit of a short-armer."
Cosell's comments further illustrate the conundrum facing NFL teams that will be drafting early and have a need at quarterback -- all three of the quarterbacks are intriguing talents, but they each have their flaws, too. For Cosell, Bortles seems to be the least flawed of the bunch, and the Texans, holders of the draft's No. 1 overall pick, might agree.