Blake Bortles: Could he be the next Houston Texans QB?
November 21, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; UCF Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) runs the ball against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Bright House Networks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports
It is no secret the Houston Texans are most likely looking for a change at the quarterback position.
They’ve traded Matt Schaub for a sixth-round pick, they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick for depth purposes and they still have Case Keenum and T.J. Yates on their roster as well.
Dec 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum (7) warms up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Both Keenum (1,760 yards, nine touchdowns, six interceptions in ’13) and Yates have started games for the Texans in the past, including Keenum starting eight games for the franchise last season, though we must note he was winless in his time as the starter before he missed the final two games with a hand injury.
So that leaves the Texans still holding the No.1 overall selection, and sitting there in the pool of players for the NFL Draft (on May 8th) is Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles.
Bortles has been climbing up the draft rankings since the end of his final collegiate bowl game, and since that times he’s impressed scouts, coaches and front office members of numerous teams at the combines and during his pro day, which was this past Wednesday.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote this week about the signing of Fitzpatrick:
"“They signed him (Fitzpatrick) to keep the seat warm until coach Bill O’Brien and quarterbacks coach George Godsey believe the rookie is ready.”"
He followed that with this comment in his article:
"“Whether that’s the opening game or midway through the season, a quarterback drafted first overall won’t play until he’s ready.”"
I have no problem at all if the Texans believe Bortles or even Teddy Bridgewater is the future of the Texans at the QB spot, but they better make the right decision, or it will set the franchise back even worse than what it was last season after finishing 2-14 overall.
What I like about Bortles is he’s showing his improvement this offseason, plus he knows he has parts of his game that need improvement and is willing to work on improving his flaws as a QB.
Bortles has been working with former NFL backup QB Jordan Palmer in preparation of the draft.
In his final collegiate season, Bortles passed for 3,581 yards with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Bortles has also impressed O’Brien this offseason, especially during his pro day, with McClain writing earlier this week, quoting O’Brien:
“I was very impressed,” O’Brien said. “He made every throw I wanted to see, and he showed good footwork.”
One question though … Is Bortles worth drafting over defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or linebacker Khalil Mack?
Both of those players could make the Texans’ defense one of the strongest in the NFL with J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing already a part of the defense.
As I keep saying, it will be interesting to see who the Texans select with the No. 1 overall pick, and from the feeling I’m getting from the “experts,” it could be a QB. I think it could be Bortles.
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