While we're on the subject of the quarterbacks, namely Blaine Gabbert, we can kind of look at what his projections for the 2012 NFL season will be. With a new full offseason under his belt but also nearly a full season of playing experience under his belt, it should really all be "down hill" for Gabbert from here on out. It can't get worse, right?
Jason Lisk of The Big Lead did some projections for the second-year quarterbacks for 2012, and I think his projection of Gabbert is both fair and realistic.
Blaine Gabbert was worse than his group of comps as a rookie. The first four on the list were replaced as starters before year two. The last six were all higher picks who were again installed as starters in year two. All played all or most of the season, and that's my guess for Gabbert. He gets this year, and if he hasn't shown improvement by the end of the season, then may get benched, but not any earlier.
His comps did show improvement in year two, particularly those that panned out. If you want to know where Gabbert needs to be this year, look at his average projection for 2012 below. At or better than that, and it's too early to write him off. Another year with numbers below that projection, and it would be pretty unlikely he ever turns into a decent starter in the league. This year's projection sees a 7% increase in completion percentage, and a full yard increase in yards per attempt.
Gabbert's most similar players: Kyle Orton, Bruce Gradkowski, Jeff Komlo, Jimmy Clausen, Kyle Boller, Donovan McNabb, Neil Lomax, Steve Fuller, John Elway, Jack Trudeau
14 Games Started, 249 of 430 (58.0%), 2,750 passing yards (6.4 YPA), 16 TD, 10 INT
40 Sacks Taken, 45 Rush Attempts, 180 Rushing Yards and 2 Touchdowns
The overall numbers I think are fair for Gabbert and if he can do what's here, would be an improvement. I tend to think his passing yards will be higher than what Lisk has here and I think he will be sacked less, but overall I think it's a solid and realistic projection.