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2013 NFL Draft: Would Blaine Gabbert be the top QB?

Eric Francis

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback coach Frank Scelfo made the comment that if Gabbert had stayed in college and played out his eligibility, he'd be the number one quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft class. Since I was going through and charting the quarterbacks in the draft class, I decided to go back and find some of Gabbert's games from 2010 for a comparison and chart them, just to see where he would rank.

It's not as good as Scelfo thinks.

Blaine Gabbert vs. Nebraska, 18/42 199 yards, 1TD 1INT [+14 - 35% efficiency]
0-4 Yards 5-14 Yards 14-25 Yards 25 Yards+ Throw Away
Left 3/4 [+2.5] 4/7 [+2.5] 1/2 [0] 0/5 [-1.5] 1
Middle 1/1 [+1] 6/11 [+7] -- -- --
Right 1/1 [+1] 2/7 [+1.5] 0/2 [0] -- 1

Blaine Gabbert vs. Nebraska

Gabbert's game against Nebraska wasn't nearly as good as he graded out in the charting system, and that's saying a lot because he graded out poorly. Gabbert was under duress for much of the game and flat out just looked lost in the pocket. He felt phantom pressure constantly and would often throw flat footed. Most of his completions were quick dump offs on crossing routes or comebacks, and the few times he threw down the field he was well off the mark.

I can stress enough how awful Gabbert was dropping back to pass in this game. He would constantly leave the pocket at the slightest hint of pressure and retreated backwards way too much.

It's only one game, but if this was the only game I had ever seen Gabbert play, he would be graded out as a UDFA. This was the first time I had seen this Nebraska game, because I didn't think there was a chance in hell he would wind up on the Jaguars, and he was downright awful. It's the worst game I've watched out of any of the quarterbacks I've charted doing this.

Blaine Gabbert vs. Iowa, 41/57 434 yards, 1TD 2INT [+34 - 61.8% efficiency]
0-4 Yards 5-14 Yards 14-25 Yards 25 Yards+ Throw Away
Left 2/3 [+2] 7/13 [+6.5] 0/1 [-0.5] -- --
Middle 4/4 [+4] 8/10 [+7.5] 3/4 [+2.5] -- --
Right 2/2 [+2] 10/12 [+9] 2/4 [+1] 1/2 [0] 2

Blaine Gabbert vs. Iowa

Gabbert against Iowa was night and day different than the Gabbert I watched against Nebraska, but then again Iowa's defensive front isn't as agressive as the Huskers. Iowa rushed three or four much of the game and Gabbert had time to step into his throws and even moved up in the pocket at times to complete passes.

Even such, most of Gabbert's completions were quick throws off the end of his drop without many reads and looked like a pre-determined play. He did hit a couple of nice deeper passes where he put the ball between the cornerback and the safety on the sideline, exploiting the soft spot in Iowa's Cover 2 defense, but again many of the throws were just quicker shorter throws.

While Gabbert looked much better against Iowa than he did Nebraska, I still think saying if he had stayed in school he'd be the number one quarterback in the draft is a massive stretch. His pocket presence is downright horrible, and is still bad in the NFL, and he's just not accurate down the field despite having the arm to make the throws.