Blaine Gabbert came out of high school as one of the top Pro-Style quarterbacks in the nation. He was a five star recruit who was heavily recruited by a number of Top 25 FBS schools in hopes of being the next team with a potential Heisman quarterback.
Gabbert chose Missouri in hopes of being a star in their highly touted spread offense. He played in just a few games his freshman year, behind Chase Daniel, only to be groomed to start in 2009.
Gabbert put up solid numbers in 2009, and was in the talks as a Heisman sleeper for 2010. While he hasn’t had the production in 2010 that many pro scouts would love to see, he has delivered in terms of overall mechanics and intangibles, making him a highly touted prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Player Name: Blaine Gabbert
Weight: 235 lbs
Gabbert’s biggest strengths are his mechanics. He may be the most technically sound quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has a quick release, has very solid footwork, and often being quite fluid in his throwing motion.
His arm strength is exceptional as he can make all of the NFL throws, and he does a nice job of fitting the ball into tight spots on passes of 15+ yards. His mobility isn’t anything to write home about, but he can move around in the pocket a little bit as needed.
His production in his last two seasons hasn’t been phenomenal, but he’s managed to play smart football, improve on his short-intermediate accuracy, and become a leader despite starting as a true sophomore. Gabbert seems to have the intangibles that coaches at the next level want.
Over the next few months one of the biggest cons one will hear about Gabbert is the fact that he is a system quarterback. In the Missouri spread, he often doesn’t have to see the entire field, generally making just one or two reads and get the ball out.
In the NFL, he will need to improve his pocket awareness, and see the field better to make smart throws in case his top option is covered. His decision making has been somewhat errant at times, as he can be a bit of a risk taker, sometimes too confident in his ability to sling the ball into tight spots.
He will need to understand an NFL playbook a little more, and improve on how to read a defense, but there’s no doubt that he has all the tools to succeed at the next level.
Gabbert entered the 2010 season as a 5th-7th round pick. While he hasn’t put up huge numbers in his junior campaign, his poise and improvements as an overall quarterback have made him project as high as the third overall pick in the draft. With a good workout in February, Gabbert could compete for the number one pick, especially with Andrew Luck not entering the 2011 NFL Draft.
Gabbert will compete with fellow quarterbacks Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, and potentially Cam Newton for the top quarterback spot in the 2011 NFL Draft. Look for teams like the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, and Arizona Cardinals to target him heavily, all teams which have a Top 10 pick in 2011.
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