Mayock: UCF's Blake Bortles has a good pro-day workout

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles' pro-day workout Wednesday was a success, especially when compared to Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater's. Both are in play to be the No. 1 overall pick in May's draft.

Bortles ran a 65-pass workout supervised by NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer, who has worked with Bortles for the past two months. NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said the workout "looked like it was supposed to look."

"He's potentially a franchise quarterback," Mayock said, noting that Bortles is somewhat raw and "needs some time" to reach his full potential.

Numerous front-office personnel from teams that pick in the top eight were on hand for the pro day, including quarterback-needy teams Houston (No. 1), Jacksonville (No. 3), Cleveland (No. 4), Oakland (No. 5) and Minnesota (No. 8). Tampa Bay, which picks seventh, also was well-represented.

Texans coach Bill O'Brien the Houston Chronicle's John McClain that "it was a good workout. He made all the throws, shows good footwork. I was impressed." Bucs coach Lovie Smithtold the Tampa Bay Times that team personnel spent time with Bortles before his workout.

Mayock said Bortles looked good throwing short, intermediate and long routes, and "was really solid from every perspective." He said he thought Bortles showed "really good arm strength," though not elite.

Bortles said he was pleased with his workout: "I thought it was good; I thought it went well."

Bortles measured 6-foot-5 and 229 pounds, three fewer pounds than his weight at last month's NFL Scouting Combine, and NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said that when you look at quarterbacks who are Bortles' size, "you're thinking 'cannon'" for an arm. That's not the case with Bortles, though Davis did say Bortles has "a good-enough arm to make all the throws."

Mayock described Bridgewater's pro day as "average, at best," and viewed it as a red flag. He didn't see any red flags Wednesday in Bortles' workout.

Davis cautioned against reading too much into pro-day workouts. He brought up Bridgewater's lackluster workout and said he had talked to an NFL offensive coordinator who said Bridgewater's issues Monday could be fixed with a couple of days of work.

The next big quarterback workout comes Thursday, when Fresno State's Derek Carr has his pro day. Carr generally is considered the draft's fourth-best quarterback prospect, and there are some analysts who think he could go in the first round.

As Davis pointed out, pro days are not the be-all, end-all of the draft process. All things being equal, if a team liked Bridgewater the best among the quarterbacks going into his pro day, it's ridiculous to think that team would change its mind after his workout. In other words, three years of game tape outweighs a 30-minute workout.

Still, if a team genuinely wasn't sure whether it liked Bridgewater or Bortles best, it's not a stretch to think that team might have Bortles ahead right now. But there still are 50 days until the draft, and individual meetings and workouts could change minds.

Team fit obviously plays a role. Bridgewater and Bortles are more conventional quarterbacks than Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who appeals to fewer teams because of his style of play. And Bortles' physical makeup and style of play probably fits better than Bridgewater's with what O'Brien seems likely to do with Houston. If Houston already liked Bortles the best, that feeling probably was cemented Wednesday.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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