Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles name comes up in discussions of the top passers in this year’s draft, but his college coach isn’t ready to declare him a franchise quarterback just yet.
George O’Leary told Sports Radio 610 in Houston that description should be more rare.
“I think a franchise quarterback comes out once every 10 years, and he came out last year in [Andrew] Luck,” O’Leary said, despite being off just one year. “The ones I see succeed are understudies.”
O’Leary thinks Bortles has the chance to succeed, and has “all the tools to get it done,” but might need more time.
“Blake has all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback as far as size and mental capacity to handle a lot of things,” O’Leary said. “But that first year is tough because those guys are moving a lot faster than the college guys.
“Blake is going to be fine-tuned to what he needs to get done in the pro ranks.”
While O’Leary didn’t necessarily go in for the Pete Carroll-Mark Sanchez level of bar-lowering, it’s reasonable to have reservations.
But O’Leary is also a mentor of new Houston coach Bill O’Brien, so you can be sure he’s giving his old pupil a more detailed report, before it’s time for the first pick in the draft.
And with the pressure on the first pick to perform for the Texans, there might not be time for the development that Bortles needs.