UCF quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson announced Monday they are leaving school for the NFL. The players and Coach George O'Leary held a press conference on campus.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has UCF quarterback Blake Bortles going fourth overall to the Cleveland Browns in his first mock draft.
Kiper Jr. has an interesting take on how he sees the draft going down in May. The ESPN analyst has Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel going No. 1 overall, and is predicting Bortles to be selected ahead of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the consensus top quarterback available in the draft.
In Kiper's mock draft, Manziel goes No. 1 overall to Houston, Texas A&M left tackle Jake Matthews going No. 2 to St. Louis (via Washington) and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney No. 3 to Jacksonville before Bortles comes off the board to Cleveland at No. 4 overall.
In Kiper's estimation, Bridgewater is selected No. 8 overall by the Minnesota Vikings.
Kiper wrote that Bortles has the most upside "from a physical standpoint," because of his 6-4, 230-pound frame. He also wrote that Bortles' ability to make plays out of the pocket and weapons like Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron would make the UCF passer a good fit in Cleveland.
There will be many iterations of mock drafts like this one, and Bortles is sure to bounce around between a number of landing spots, especially considering five of the top eight teams in May's draft could list quarterback as a need.