Doesn't consistently stride into throws, seems to pull up a bit prematurely and isn't real accurate with his intermediate passes because of it. However, has the ability to make all the throws as the football really seems to jump out of his hands quickly. Spins a clean football and when he does have time and can step into a throw without having to think or go through any progressions he can be a very accurate passer. But needs to be able to see the throw and separation in order to let go of the football. Will hold onto the ball too long at times waiting for the receiver to uncover.
Lacks a great overall feel for the game. Doesn't decipher information real quickly, seems to lock onto his initial read and despite being a gifted athlete lacks that sixth sense in the pocket. Doesn't feel pressure consistently coming off the edge and doesn't have a ton of wiggle to make a man miss. Is a strong runner with a decent first step, can buy time and create once he sees daylight. But isn't a dynamic athlete by any stretch.
Impression: Is a real work in progress. Is an above-average athlete for the position who can really spin the football. But is raw with his mechanics overall, which causes his inaccuracies with the football and isn't real quick to decipher information. A free agent/project type QB."
The description is often tied to Auburn's Cam Newton, but it also applies to Portis. A highly-touted prep prospect, Portis signed with Florida, spurning offers from Oregon, Kansas State and Utah among others schools looking for multi-dimensional quarterbacks. Portis saw action in five games as a true freshman, but elected to transfer to Maryland.
While his athleticism drew raves from the Terrapins' staff, his inconsistency led to a spot on the bench. After two years with the Terps (he sat out the 2006 season due to NCAA regulations), Portis transferred to California (Pa.), dominating as would be expected.
In two seasons, Portis completed 58 percent of his passes for 6,072 yards, 69 touchdowns against only 16 interceptions and led the Vulcans to the postseason twice.
Portis is clearly a developmental prospect, but he has the size, arm strength and mobility to warrant a strong look. He can buy time with his feet, but prefers to pass the ball despite possessing excellent straight-line speed. Portis has a similar skill set to Minnesota Vikings 2010 rookie QB/WR Joe Webb, and could make a team look similarly smart if given an opportunity.
Positives: Good height. Quick feet and balance to elude in the pocket. Rare straight-line speed for the position. Excellent mobility for the rollout and shows at least moderate accuracy when on the move. Possesses an over-the-top release and good follow-through. At least moderate accuracy to all levels. Has the arm for the deep ball. Throws the bomb with good touch and trajectory so it's an easy ball to catch. Can zip the ball between closing defenders for the slant and post. Voted a two-time team captain. Good bloodlines; cousin to Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis.
Negatives: Transferred from Florida to Maryland to California, leading some to question whether he has the work ethic to handle competition. May struggle with a complicated playbook, as he has had some struggles with academics. Questionable competition. Floats many of his passes, showing only marginal accuracy overall. Capable of hitting his man, but isn't often enough able to hit them in stride. Has to do a better job of looking off the safety. Too often stares down his primary target."
Positive: Athletic quarterback who's been very productive on the small school level. Quickly sets up in the pocket, goes through receiver progressions, and displays a sense of timing. Puts air under passes, throwing tight spirals and a catchable ball. Takes the safe underneath route if nothing else is available. Shows the ability to scramble and buy time for wide outs. Puts speed on throws and hits receivers in stride. Makes good decisions under pressure and does not force throws.
Negative: Does not drive deep throws. Not a tall passer in the pocket and seemingly has trouble seeing over the line at times. Occasionally stares down the primary target and does not find the safety. Off the field issues will raise red-flags.
Analysis: Portis is a physically gifted quarterback with the arm strength to play at the next level. He possesses a solid game and has a real opportunity to make it as a third signal caller."
Strengths: Big, strong and can run. Shows flashes of great ability. Has a solid arm. Came as a 'run first' QB but developed into a thrower - set passing record for most completions and yards in 2009 (227-407 and 9 INTs for 3421 yards and 36 TDs). Became more efficient in '10 with 33 TDs on 205 for 335 with 7 INTs. Very athletic - could play in the wildcat, be a back-up or play WR or S.
Weaknesses: Still some questionable passing skills despite great production. Still needs to learn more in terms of facing elite defenses and reads. Fast, but not field fast - makes poor decisions at times. Dennis Dixon type player who has a long way to go as a QB. May be best served to play safety. Coming off arrest involving stolen credit cards coupled with earlier issues that may torpedo his value.
Projection: 7th round ONLY WITH exceptional combine showing and interviews offsetting his previous off-field issues - otherwise, UDFA is he's lucky."