Jack Del Rio Had No Idea Jaguars Were Drafting Blaine Gabbert, Went to Get Food

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09:  Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 and coach Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Cincinnati Bengals during play at EverBank Field on October 9, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. Cincinnati won 30-20.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said Tuesday that he was not informed when the Jags traded up in the 2011 NFL draft to select quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Appearing on ESPN 690 in Jacksonville (h/t Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports), Del Rio noted that he wasn't even in the room when then-Jags general manager Gene Smith traded up from 16th to 10th for Gabbert:

"I had no idea we were going to draft Blaine Gabbert. No idea. In fact, I left to go get something to eat because our pick wasn't for much longer in the draft. I go and then I'm sitting there filling my plate thinking, 'Oh great, we've got a couple more hours until we pick.' Then I see, 'The Jaguars are on the clock.' I'm like, 'What the blank is going on?'

"I walk into the draft room, and I could see it on the faces of the people in the room. They knew how uncomfortable that was, how wrong that was."

The decision to trade up for Gabbert didn't work out well for the Jaguars. Gabbert lasted just three seasons in Jacksonville and went 5-22 as a starter, while Del Rio was fired during the 2011 season and Smith was fired in 2012.

Del Rio noted that the writing was on the wall regarding his status when he wasn't consulted about the Gabbert pick: "He wasn't a first rounder. He wasn't a guy to trade and go up to get him...So that was not part of coaching, that was not part of me. That was my first indication that my time there in J-ville was running short."

After going 68-71 with two playoff appearances in nine seasons as Jacksonville's head coach, Del Rio went 25-23 with one playoff appearance in three seasons as head coach of the Oakland Raiders before getting fired at the conclusion of the 2017 season.

Meanwhile, Gabbert continues to stick around in the NFL. He has primarily been a backup in stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans since leaving the Jags, and he is Jameis Winston's backup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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