Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert will in all likelihood no longer be on the board when the Vikings pick at number 12 but you never know, so let’s take a closer look. Here’s a distillation of what analysts are saying about Gabbert.
Gabbert will not throw at the combine, reserving that for the controlled environment of this Pro Day, but he’ll be there to conduct the 15 minute interviews.
Pros. At 6’5″, 235 lbs, Gabbert has the size to see over lineman and to stay on his feet after getting hit by defenders. He’s got some mobility for a big man and has the ability to tuck and run for yardage because he’s got good speed for the position.
He appears to understand coverage, knows how to look off defenders, and can make pre-snap reads.
Gabbert can make all the throws, has a quick release and is accurate on short to intermediate passes. Gabbert anticipates routes well and shows good placement.
Cons. He’s too confident in his arm and as a result will too often throw risky passes. Lacks touch on passes over the middle and lacks accuracy on deep balls. Needs to take a little off some of his passes because he sometimes throws harder than he needs to, making it unnecessarily difficult for his receivers to catch the ball.
Played in a spread offense at Missouri, so he’ll need to learn to take snaps under center, drop back, and make progressions in the pocket. He hasn’t been asked to make more than one read. Hasn’t shown the ability to consistently scan the entire field for secondary receivers and if nothing is open, he’ll tend to break the pocket and drop his eyes, limiting his ability to find receivers.
Doesn’t have the best poise in the pocket and can get flustered with a rush around him. He needs to more precisely tune his mental clock because he tends to feel pressure late, leading to sacks.
His footwork needs improvement; he sometimes takes too wide a stance, making it difficult to transfer his weight during throws.
One consistent comment from most of the analysis is that Gabbert could benefit greatly from sitting on the bench for a year to learn a pro system.
LIVE COMBINE COVERAGE
The NFL Network has got your back, of course, with live coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine, which began yesterday and will run through March 1. For those of you who don’t get the NFL Network on cable, their website is a part of the coverage you can follow and they’ve devoted a section to it at nfl.com/combine.
There will be no games, of course, no competition; just guys in shorts.
We’re talking practice, man.
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