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2014 NFL Draft: Bortles states case for No. 1

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Blake Bortles has been No. 1 in my mock draft for a few months now, but we still have a long way to go before finding out if the Central Florida quarterback ends up No. 1 on draft weekend in May. He did state a strong case during his media session at the Scouting Combine on Friday.

"I believe I can compete with any guy here," Bortles said when asked how he stacks up against the other top quarterbacks in this class. "That's why I'm doing what I'm doing (every drill)."

So does he think he will go No. 1?

""That's not for me to decide, the goal is to be the top quarterback prospect," Bortles answered. "That's why I left (school a year) early."

Bortles said his passing skills from the pocket and his ability to use his legs and throw from different platforms are skills that differentiate him from others in this class. He mentioned Indianapolis' Andrew Luck and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger as quarterbacks that he patterns his game after, so it's no coincidence that he has drawn comparisons to both. While at Central Florida, Bortles showed flashes of Luck's release and arm strength coupled with Big Ben's size, mobility and clutch attributes.

However, Bortles wasn't shy about admitting that he still needs work and wasn't deterred from the thought of not playing right away as a rookie. His lack of experience is the primary reason he remains the No. 2-rated quarterback behind Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater by NFLDraftScout.com.

"There is no doubt I need coaching, I need help," he said. "Everyone does."

Bortles also said it would be "special" if he receives the opportunity to play and learn from Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, something that is a realistic possibility with the Texans owning the rights to the No. 1 overall pick.

(Dane Brugler is an analyst for www.NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com).
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