2011 NFL Draft: Haters Beware, Why Blaine Gabbert Is the Best QB In The Class

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2011

When Andrew Luck announced he was going to play his senior season at Stanford, no one was as jolly as Missouri quarterback and projected first-rounder Blaine Gabbert.

Luck's decision earned Gabbert a higher draft standing and potentially millions more than expected.

His name will now undoubtedly be announced on the first day of the 2011 NFL Draft and it is for good reason.

He has the skills and making of a franchise quarterback and I am going to give you some reasons why he is the best signal-caller of this year's draft indeed.

First of all, he has all the tools of an NFL quarterback.

At 6'5", 235 pounds, he has the making and bulk of a top gun in the pros.

His arm says it all and he has the strength, accuracy and precision to get the ball where it needs to go in the professional level.

His critics say that only throwing 16 touchdowns in 2010 is a problem, and I am here to tell you that is not exactly a clear thought.

Many of Missouri's touchdowns in the red zone came from the ground attack, which collectively scored 28 times in 2010; Gabbert himself had five of these and all five came from inside the 20.

His critics also say that playing in a spread offense doesn't translate into the professional ranks. I am here to say that this is not always true.

Tim Tebow ran a primarily spread offense at Florida, and in the process became a first-rounder in 2010 and has shown flashes of great NFL potential while at the helm for the Denver Broncos.

Gabbert's impressive touch shouldn't slow him down in the pro ranks, so why should they worry about the offense Missouri ran while he was the starter?

Another one of Gabbert's strengths has to do with his confidence in his receivers. He never backs down and is always hitting the open man.

His 63.4 completion percentage in 2010 doesn't do him justice. Some of the receivers at Mizzou couldn't catch his perfectly thrown balls—I can tell you this confidently as a student at Missouri after having attended eight games this season myself.

His decision making has been brought into question, most recently in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 30, when he threw a careless pass into the arms of an Iowa defender. I am here to tell you now that this will not be accepted in the pros and that Gabbert indeed needs to work on his choices.

Other than that, what isn't the Ballwin, Missouri native great at?

He has mobility and scampered for more than 200 yards in each season at Mizzou.

He has experience, as shown when he won 18 games in 26 contests, which is a very solid record considering he has lost both of his bowl starts.

He has no problem battling injury and he has done so in both seasons in Columbia. He battled his ankle in '09 and his ribs this season.

He proved pressure doesn't get to him, having his biggest games of the season on national television, a win over Oklahoma and a loss in the bowl game, where he still threw for over 400 yards and a 70 percent completion clip.

He has the most accurate arm of anyone on the board, and I see him being selected in the early first round, perhaps even first overall by the Carolina Panthers.

Whatever the decision, Blaine Gabbert has the tools to become a franchise quarterback. He also has the size, range and accuracy that NFL teams love.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a team that desires a quarterback to take a chance on him and immediately establish a long-term connection.

After all, he is the best quarterback in this class now that Andrew Luck is still in school.

So, what are you waiting for, teams with high picks?

Draft Blaine Gabbert.

I swear it is something you won't regret.


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