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Many analysts and NFL evaluators have projected Blaine Gabbert to be selected among the first five picks in next week's draft. While that will likely be the case, it would be hard to justify that pick based on college tape alone. No player in this class has benefited so much from media hype.
I actually like him as a quarterback at the next level, but I highly doubt he receives the grooming time that he desperately needs. He possesses big league size, a quick release, impressive intelligence and terrific mobility.
Some may equate his physical and mental tools to NFL success; however, for every JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf or Vince Young that comes along, there is an Alex Smith, David Carr and Brady Quinn. It is worth adding that Gabbert was not nearly as prolific a college player as any of those listed above.
He will, no doubt, be rushed into early action as a rookie. While there are tools there, he definitely does not appear to be an elite talent on tape. His pocket presence is very shaky and as he is largely a manufactured top prospect, I worry he lacks the mental toughness to overcome adversity early on.