Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Things were already going well for UCF quarterback Blake Bortles even before he arrived, because of his decision to throw in Indianapolis. As the Orlando Sentinel’s Paul Tenorio and Iliana Limon Romero reported, coaches and analysts loved the move.
Bortles spoke about his decision to throw during his combine interview:
My mind was always made up, it was just waiting on the right time to announce it. Getting information from a lot of people. But I want to compete. That’s kind of who I am, that’s what I want to do. I look forward to doing everything here. That’s kind of the way I was brought up and who I am.
Teams love to see guys who want to, and are willing to, compete.
As the top quarterback prospect among those who participated in the passing drills, it was Bortles’ game to lose—and he rose to the occasion.
As NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks remarked in his look at the winners and losers, he looked the part physically, showed off his athleticism and had an excellent day on the passing drills.
Of course, a workout should never trump tape, but it’s part of the puzzle. That he was willing to step up when other top prospects weren't and then was able to perform well will be noted.
As impressive as he was on the field, people still think of him as a prospect who needs some time to develop. He knows this, and also hit all the right notes when asked about it.
There’s no doubt I need coaching, I need help. I think everybody in the game does. There’s reasons why all these greats out there are continuing to play and continuing to work in the offseason and get coached. One-hundred percent, I need coaching, I need help and I’m going to work my butt off to do everything I can to be the best that I can be to help a team be the best that they can be.
Of course, acknowledging you have some raw spots might seem like a bad idea to some, but showing a willingness to learn and get better will only endear him to coaches looking for a quarterback in this draft.
In the fight for that No. 1 overall spot, Bortles did everything he could to make the choice easier on teams.
All quotes acquired firsthand at the 2014 NFL combine.