Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert has all but assured he will be the first quarterback taken in the 2011 NFL Draft. His pro day on Thursday drew six NFL head coaches and loads of scouts (over 125 NFL personnel were there). From the reviews we’ve heard, Gabbert didn’t hurt his stock, but he certainly isn’t blowing anyone away either.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said that one quarterback-needy team had this to say about Gabbert: “Solid but not elite, certainly not (Sam Bradford) or (Matthew Stafford).”
So I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that “quarterback needy team” won’t be taking Gabbert with the No. 1 overall pick.
Gabbert was reportedly sharp at his pro day, completing 44-of-49 throws of all types. Gabbert’s quarterback coach Terry Shea was apparently pleased with the workout, saying Gabbert was flawless on under-center snaps and moved outside the pocket very well.
Scouts Inc.’s Todd McShay was in attendance and was reportedly very impressed with Gabbert and said he would maintain his spot as the top quarterback on Scouts Inc.’s board. McShay was impressed with Gabbert’s footwork and his work under center.
On March 9, Mel Kiper made Gabbert the No. 1 pick in his latest mock draft. We’re not sold on that at all, but Kiper tempered his pick with the reasoning that whoever wanted Gabbert could get him and then pay him under the (eventual) new CBA’s rookie wage scale, which is certainly coming. Therefore they could get a perceived franchise quarterback for much cheaper than in the past. In theory anyway.
In McShay’s latest mock from March 16, he has Gabbert going to the Bills at No. 3. McShay says the Bills will look at Cam Newton but that Gabbert is the safer pick and the better quarterback between the two.
While Cam Newton is certainly the most debated prospect in this year’s draft, Gabbert isn’t far behind. No one really knows what to expect because he played in a shotgun-spread system and never really put up big numbers. That said, the tools are certainly there for him to be a great quarterback in the NFL.