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2011 QB Draft Stock Market: Blaine Gabbert

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Drafting a QB (especially early) is risky business and, much like the real stock market, it's impossible to know what's going to happen next. I'll be naming QBs by how well prepared and how well suited I believe each player is for the NFL. I'll also be sending out feelers and reading up on a new QB every day and trying to gauge interest from various teams.

Today's QB is Blaine Gabbert of Missouri.

QB draft stock: Bull(?)

Expected pick: No. 1 overall to 12 overall.

There has been very little talk about Blaine Gabbert here on BCC, for the obvious reason of he is thought to be a top five pick in this year's draft. Well, that explains why we haven't talked about him, but honestly, I'd really like to. Why? Because from everything I've seen, Gabbert looks like he will be a MAJOR bust.

First off, in terms of actual interest, there has been a lot made of the Bengals, Panthers, Cardinals and 49ers talking to Gabbert. Of course, the Panthers have to talk to him if they think he has the potential to be the first overall pick which pundits have been saying since the end of the college season. Still, it seems to me, if the Panthers wanted Gabbert, they would have come out and said it already. After all, they pick first. All of those teams are placed high in the draft and actively looking for a QB. Likely one of those four teams will wind up taking Gabbert. He's been talked up a lot on ESPN and draft sites around the league. In most mocks, he's gone somewhere in the top five or seven players taken. Strangely enough, however, few scouts have come forward calling Gabbert the best QB in the draft. Most of what I have heard suggests that there's a clutter of good QBs at the top of the draft, but no stand outs. So Gabbert is being talked up a lot as the best QB option, which is good for him. Still, I don't think he's a player i would want.

Don't get me wrong. He possesses great physical talent. He is fast enough to be a running threat, has a strong arm, and put up good (not extraordinary but good) numbers in college. What concerns me is everything else: the technical stuff and the intangibles. The system Gabbert was in was a one-read, quick passing, system. He never had to scan the field, step up into the pocket, and make a serious NFL throw. He is a shotgun QB, so his footwork is questionable, his pocket presence is not very good, and he often makes bad reads. I've put on tape of Gabbert, and I'm seriously hard pressed to figure out why ANY team would want to use a top 10 pick on him. From game tape, I'm not sold on his accuracy in live football situations. He's a potential player, and he'll take a few years to get his game working. Of course, hunger is the best sauce, so some team will grab him early.

Anyways, since we're talking about draft stock, I've labeled Gabbert as a "bull" because he's likely to be taken early, but honestly I think he will disappoint whatever team takes him. I wouldn't rule out a slide for Gabbert, but it's extremely unlikely given all the chatter. No matter how far he falls, he will not make it past an absolutely desperate Minnesota team at 12. I don't think he'll wind up as the number one pick, so I think the best bet is for him to go either 4th to the Bengals or 5th to Arizona.

I'm curious to hear people's thoughts on Gabbert, though, as I'm personally lost on why people like him so much.