The Jaguars stunned their fanbase by not being conservative and trading up to the 10th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Gene Smith, GM of the Jaguars, originally held the 16th overall selection but traded it, along with the 49th overall, to the Redskins to move up and select Missouri Quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was at one time in this draft season thought to be in contention for the number 1 overall pick, held by the Carolina Panthers. Carolina selected Auburn QB Cameron Newton and then the wait to see where Gabbert would go started.
After Newton, Jake Locker was the next QB off the board. Locker, to the dismay of many Jaguars fans, went off the board at pick #8 to the TN Titans. The Titans had their new face of the franchise. If you doubted Vince Young was staying, then you can accept it now. With Dallas not needing a QB, it was all but decided that Gabbert was going to be selected at 10th overall and be a Washington Redskin. Gabbert would call home Jacksonville.
Gabbert will no doubt compete with incumbant starter David Garrard, but a switch at starter is no sure thing. The Jaguars front brass have mentioned that Garrard will be the starter this season. Did that factor in the consensus #2 QB in the draft falling to their team? Time will tell.
Gabbert measured 6’4″ at the NFL Combine this year and comes from a spread-option offense at Missouri. The transition has been made most recently by up and comer QB Sam Bradford of the Rams. Bradford ran a smiliar attack at Oklahoma.
Gabbert has been compared to Bradford, most recently by the staff on NFL Network after the Jaguars selected him. Mike Mayock pointed out their similarities. Let’s review the stats real quick.
In Bradford’s last full season (junior year and also won Heisman) at Oklahoma, he completed 67.9% of his passes for 4,720 yards with a 9.77 yards per attempt. Bradford threw 50 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He was sacked 11 times. (ESPN Link)
In Gabberts last full season (senior year) at Missouri, he completed 63.4% of his passes for 3,186 yards with a 6.71 yards per attempt. Gabbert threw 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He was sacked 23 times.(ESPN Link)
Keep in mind that Bradford went first overall and won the offensive rookie of the year. Is the comparison legit? I don’t think so, but only time will tell