Cosell prefers Bortles in this draft class

Cosell prefers Bortles in this draft class
March 2, 2014, 3:00 pm
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UCF Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) signals to teammates prior to the snap during the second half against the Baylor Bears in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The NFL Draft doesn't start until May 8, so there's still plenty of time to talk about whom the Texans might take with their first-overall pick.

The top three quarterbacks are Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. And of the three, NFL Films producer Greg Cosell thinks Bortles is the best.

"I would say he's more of finesse thrower than a true power thrower at this point, but I think there's a lot to work with, with Bortles," Cosell said on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, via NFL.com. "I think ultimately he's a pocket passer who can execute boot action. He can extend plays and he can run effectively if that's what you want to do. So, I think that he's someone I would look to as, given time, he could be a quality NFL starter."

Bortles, from UCF, was the only of the top quarterbacks to throw at the Combine in Indianapolis. He is also the biggest at 6-5, 232 pounds. Bortles is seen by many as the rawest of the three quarterbacks but also the best pocket passer.

Bortles also led UCF to a win over Bill O'Brien's Penn State team, so O'Brien has seen him up close and personal.

Manziel is the most talked about and the most electric of the three. He won the Heisman Trophy two years ago and had a fantastic short career at Texas A&M. But with Manziel, there are questions about his off-schedule style and if it will translate to the NFL.

"I think it's very hard in the NFL to live on the edge when you don't need to live on the edge," Cosell said. "If you live on the edge too often, you will fall off the cliff."

There are also questions about Manziel's body. Even if his style translates, will his 5-11 3/4 body hold up against the beating?

And Bridgewater's frame is in question too. He showed up to the Combine weighing 214 pounds but Cosell still has concerns.

"The issue with Bridgewater is he's very slight. He's not a big body," Cosell said. "He's got a good, not a great, arm. Theoretically, he could make every throw, but making every throw when you have clean pockets is different than making every throw when you don't. He doesn't really drive the ball, Bridgewater. He's a bit of a short-armer."

The Texans still have plenty of time to decide which quarterback they like the best. And they might end up taking Jadeveon Clowney or trading the pick anyway.