INDIANAPOLIS -- UCF QB Blake Bortles treaded lightly when asked to compare himself to Johnny Manziel during his media session Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. It didn't take a whole lot of reading between the lines, though, to figure out the perception he welcomed a chance to reinforce -- you can trust me, and you might not be able to trust him.
Bortles was asked about possibly edging out Manziel in terms of maturity, and Bortles started his response by complimenting his Texas A&M counterpart. It didn't seem like he disagreed with the contrast presented to him in the question, though.
"I've had the opportunity to talk to (Manziel) a little bit these last two days," he said. "He's a great kid. Enjoy talking to him. I can't speak on how I do this compared to how he does that. All I know is that I'll be trustworthy. I won't embarrass an organization off the field by making bad decisions or anything like that. I won't embarrass my family's name and will be a trustworthy guy, a trustworthy player."
Manziel was asked Friday to address reports that he received counseling at Texas A&M for alcohol and anger management issues and gave a head-scratching response, denying that the reports were true before saying he did indeed receive counseling at the request of head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Bortles has plenty to prove to NFL evaluators as one of the draft's fastest-rising prospects, but if there's something in his past that would lead to serious concerns about his character, it hasn't been publicized.
With Manziel and Bortles competing to possibly earn a ticket to Houston as the draft's No. 1 overall pick, any edge one can gain over the other will be played up by their respective camps in the months to come.
Bortles isn't a home-state hero like Manziel and wouldn't bring the kind of excitement Manziel generates wherever he goes. But given his size advantage over Manziel, and given that he's a more conventional dropback passer, there is speculation that he'll be a better fit for the Texans' offense as well as the preferred choice of head coach Bill O'Brien.