Jacksonville Jaguars: Why Jags Need Blaine Gabbert to Stay
Blaine Gabbert is not very popular in Jacksonville right now. The 10th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft has yet to give Jaguars fans any hope for the future at quarterback and many are already calling for him to be ousted. If the Jags kick out Gabbert now, however, it would be a terrible mistake for many reasons:
He is a project player:
I believe that Gabbert will become a successful quarterback in a few years with the right tools. The problem is that Jaguars fans have seen quarterbacks such as Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Andy Dalton blow away teams their rookie years and are wondering why Gabbert isn't doing the same.
The Jaguars just need to give him time to progress and surround him with talent for him to succeed. If they trade him now, they certainly won't get a very good deal and the trade will very likely come back to haunt them when he starts to live up to his potential.
It will cripple the offense:
Gabbert's struggles aren't just because he is adjusting to the NFL. The Jaguars lack a true no. 1 receiver for him to go to and Marcedes Lewis and the offensive line haven't been playing all that well this season.
The Jaguars could draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but then they wouldn't be able to grab a player such as wideout Justin Blackmon or offensive tackle Jonathan Martin to solidify areas where they lack talent.
If they abandon Gabbert and grab their second quarterback in two years in the first round, they will be neglecting areas where they really need help, instead of building a supporting cast for Gabbert.
What should the Jags do with Gabbert?
The players around him have not stepped up:
Again, Gabbert can't be taking all the blame for Jacksonville's failures. He doesn't have much talent around him besides Maurice Jones-Drew and has not had support from struggling tight end Marcedes Lewis and an extremely disappointing receiving corps (the tallest receiver is also only 6'0"—not a very big target).
Gabbert has shown outstanding physical ability, but for him to succeed the Jaguars need to surround him with the right players.
You can disagree and blame Gabbert all you want, but he is a scapegoat for all of Jacksonville's incompetence and failures. Jack Del Rio, Marcedes Lewis, the offensive line, the receivers and many others can also be blamed.
Gabbert is a project quarterback and the Jags will have to deal with some struggles, but if they get rid of him now, they will not be able to reap the rewards later.
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