Back in 2011 the Jacksonville Jaguars made a bold move to trade up to the 10th overall pick and select Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. It was a huge shock at the time, though many thought a quarterback was on the Jaguars radar, but I don’t think any expected Gabbert to not only be the guy on their radar but a guy they’d end up trading up for.
Turns out the head coach at the time, Jack Del Rio, thought the same thing and had no idea the team was picking him.
“I had no idea we were going to draft Blaine Gabbert. No idea,” Del Rio told Brent Martineau and Austen Lane on ESPN 690 Tuesday afternoon. “In fact, I left to go get something to eat because our pick wasn’t for much longer in the draft. I’m sitting there filling my plate thinking, ‘Oh great, we’ve got a couple more hours until we pick.’ Then, I look up and see ‘The Jaguars are on the clock.’ I’m like ‘What the blank is going on?’”
I remember initially being excited about the pick, because the team traded UP for a quarterback. That in itself is exciting. That quickly died down however, as we all saw how bad Blaine Gabbert was from the start and it was disheartening to see how bad of a pick it was.
“We [Del Rio and his son] liked him, but he was in the Nick Foles range (2012 third-round pick) -- like third or fourth round. He wasn’t a first rounder, he wasn’t a guy to trade and go up to get him,” Del Rio continued. “So that was not part of coaching, that was not part of me. That was my first indication that my time there was running short.”
I think even putting Gabbert on that level, hindsight available, was being generous.