UCF junior quarterback Blake Bortles reportedly is the No. 1 quarterback on the board for a team likely to draft in the top 10, Sports Illustrated NFL writer Peter King said Sunday night.
Bortles (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) has said he will make an NFL decision after the Knights' appearance in the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl against Baylor.
"The fastest-rising quarterback in the first round, should he choose to come out, is fourth-year junior Blake Bortles," the Orlando Sentinel reported King as saying Sunday night during NBC's "Football Night in America" broadcast. "I've spoken to a team that's likely to have a top-10 pick, and they like him better than any quarterback in this draft."
And in his weekly "MMQB" column, King wrote, "I know one team that, as of now, thinks it's no sure thing [Louisville's] Teddy Bridgewater will be the top quarterback on its board. ... Moreover, this team believes Blake Bortles or [Texas A&M's] Johnny Manziel could be the top quarterback on the board."
Bortles has thrown for 3,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, and has thrown for 3,280 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He also is completing 68.1 percent of his passes, up from 62.9 percent last season.
Bortles has a good arm and excellent mobility, and he has led four fourth-quarter rallies this season. In addition, UCF rallied from a halftime deficit to beat SMU in the regular-season finale. He has completed at least two-thirds of his passes in nine of UCF's 12 games and has thrown at least three TD passes in four contests. He also has had four 300-yard games for a team that runs the ball 53 percent of the time.
"He has great size and mobility," NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "He doesn't have a huge arm, but it's plenty strong enough to make all the throws."