2011 NFL Draft Grades: Jacksonville Jaguars Trades To Draft QB Blaine Gabbert

Mihir BhagatSenior Analyst IIIApril 29, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Blaine Gabbert, #11 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars traded up from the 16th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft with the Washington Redskins to the 10th overall pick to draft Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

This was one of the biggest value picks in the first round, and considering that some rated him the top quarterback prospect in this year's class, he's a bona fide steal. 

While that's all great, what I like even more is the Jaguars' activeness in the draft as they demonstrated their ability to recognize a good deal and got it done.

Sure, they had a bigger need at defensive end after registering just 29 sacks last season. But with defensive line as the deepest position in this year's class, they can find quality options in later rounds.

However, a potential franchise quarterback only comes once in a while.

And what I like the most is the situation that they're going to put him in. With veteran quarterback David Garrard already at the helm, they can afford to have Gabbert sit and develop for a few years as opposed to being forced out onto the field immediately.

He's coming from a spread offense at Missouri and needs to learn how to make complex reads and play in a traditional NFL system. This requires time, and the Jaguars are giving that to him here.

This is a golden opportunity for Gabbert which will allow him to fix all his flaws before testing his skills in the real deal. As Todd McShay said, I'm predicting that five years down the road Gabbert will be the best quarterback of the bunch. 

Just take a look at what happened to Aaron Rodgers after sitting behind Brett Favre before taking command of the Packers, and now he's a Super Bowl MVP.

Could a similar fate occur with Gabbert and the Jaguars? Well we'll just have to wait and see.