Talking Points: Bortles' stock on the rise

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Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles stock in the upcoming NFL draft rose this week after Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater looked mediocre throwing at his pro day.

The troubling issue for Bridgewater is that he did not leave anyone salivating over his pro day performance, which is a definite rarity these days.

Quarterbacks' throwing displays at their pro days are extremely scripted, from the types of routes that will be run to the receivers catching the ball on the other end. They are designed to show off the best attributes of whichever prospect is in the spotlight.

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Talk is cheap. So let's not put much value in former Oregon State and Cincinnati Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh's comment to TMZ that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman would not have been able to stop him.

Houshmandzadeh had a decent career complementing Chad Johnson at Cincinnati, but was unsuccessful with Seattle, Baltimore and Oakland.

His comments certainly come off a bit wishful.

In order to beat Sherman, you can't get off the line like you are running in quicksand.

3

Abraham Almonte sure looks like the Mariners' opening day center fielder.

It makes sense, given manager Lloyd McClendon's comments ripping last year's outfield defense. Almonte is the M's only true center fielder and by far the roster's best defensive outfielder.

Going into spring training, he was barely a favorite for the fourth outfielder role. But Almonte is here, poised to be the first Mariner to bat when the regular season begins in two short weeks. He's 24 years old and a gifted athlete who is still years away from his physical prime, a guy who was had for a song last spring.