NFL Draft Profile: QB Josh Portis

QB Josh Portis, California University of Pa (Division II)

Background: Former top recruit to Florida, transferred after one season to MD. After sitting out a year, some off field issues looked to wreck his Maryland chances so he headed to Division II California. He is the cousin of former Skins running back Clinton Portis.

Measureables: 6'2" and 7/8 , 211 lbs., 4.59 40 yard dash

Pros:

  • Strong arm, capable of throwing across his body or making deep throws
  • Mobile, capable of buying time with his legs and being a serious threat to run the ball
  • Despite mobility very comfortable in the pocket, unless forced or designed, Portis would typically stay in the pocket
  • Good size, at nearly 6'3" Portis has the height of a typical starting quarterback
  • Raw talent, Portis has a ton of upside
  • While he is developing he could offer value as a Wildcat/specialty quarterback
  • Has enough athletic ability to transition to another position, Portis could likely be a receiver as well and at least one team has asked him to work out at both positions
Cons:
  • Faced secondary competition at California University (Pa), was never really challenged
  • Off the field incidents have plagued him, from cheating on a test to using a stolen credit card, Portis hasn't been the 'Pillar of the Community'
  • Doesn't display the greatest accuracy, he will sail a lot of throws, especially sideline patterns 
  • His decision making appears to be suspect at times
  • Overall he is a major project, that might never end up reaching his potential
Analysis:

Portis is a lotto ticket, on one hand he has the potential to develop into a very good player, but the odds are stacked against him given his level of competition and off the field issues (i.e. lack of maturity). 

If Portis shows that his off the field issues are behind him then I think he is a decent option for a 7th round pick or a priority undrafted free agent. I think that if a team gives him a couple years to develop and learn the system, he could not only be a good backup quarterback, who sees some time during Wildcat formations, but develop into a starter. The tools are there for Portis to succeed he just needs to find the right system and put in the work.

Why he makes sense for the Redskins:

The Redskins need to try to keep a Portis on this team...No in all seriousness, Portis makes decent sense for the Redskins as either a late 7th rounder or a priority UDFA. Assuming the Redskins grab a quarterback with an earlier pick, I'd only want him as a UDFA, but I still think he'd be well worth bringing in. 

Whether the Redskins draft Newton/Gabbert in the 1st round or a guy like Ponder or Locker in the 2nd, their quarterback need won't be fully met. Regardless of what resources they put into the position, the Redskins need to develop depth there. Right now 30 year-old John Beck is our 3rd string QB, not exactly what I'd be looking for in a young developmental guy. The Redskins would do well to add multiple quarterbacks this year, with the hopes of stashing one on the practice squad, to eventually transition to that 3rd developmental QB role.

Portis makes even more sense to be that project quarterback given his pedigree and potential. In terms of talent, I have little doubt that Portis could have succeeded at the division 1 level if put in the right system. Unfortunately at Florida and Maryland they used him in a run first capacity and his off field issues sunk his career. Had they developed him properly and he been more mature, we could be talking about a much higher ranked QB. In addition to that potential, Portis also brings his impressive athletic ability. 

While there could be concerns with a mobile quarterback like Newton and Locker making the transition, much of that has to do with their timeline. If you allowed them to develop for 3+ years they maybe could be NFL stars. The problem is in today's NFL you can't develop guys like that, and evidence shows if you rush a raw quarterback the chance that they bust increases dramatically. Portis could give the Redskins a situation where they could develop him over years, and while his upside won't be as high as some other quarterbacks he could be more likely to reach his potential. 

Portis also has an advantage over other UDFA QB's the Redskins could be interested in, and that is his athletic ability. If Portis is slow to develop he could be used in Wildcat packages and still contribute to the team. Also, if he just can't cut it as a QB, he has the size and athletic ability to move to receiver. It might not be a sure thing, but given that versatility Portis has a better chance of helping out the Redskins than a number of other late round/UDFA guys.

Draft Projection:

Despite the potential and athletic ability I doubt there is any way Portis gets drafted higher than the 7th round. And while it is very possible someone takes a shot at him in the 7th round, I think there is a good chance he doesn't get drafted at all.

Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com.
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