Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 16th 2011. For the original article, check The Hub on the main page. The comments alone are worth a read.
Selected with the 10th overall pick, Gabbert finds himself with heavy expectations on his shoulder, as top-10 of the first round is not a place for a project to be drafted. Rest assured, Gabbert is a project. There are many aspects of his game that need to be developed. Can he put it together and be what Jacksonville needs?
The task of “saving the city” will not be easily achieved. Remember the Jaguars to Los Angeles talks? Gabbert has to silence that too.
I don’t envy the man and I hope that he succeeds but I don’t believe that he will be the All-Pro that most do. In fact, my initial reaction to the selection was: OHNO! Regardless, I will do everything I can to intellectually make my point and after the article is written, I will shut my mouth and continue to be a fan of the Jaguars. As long as Gabbert is in teal, he will be a guy I root for, a guy I believe in, a guy I wish success upon….but that’s after this article.
After researching quarterbacks taken in the top-10 since 1995 (the year the Jaguars entered the league), I came away surprised. I was expecting an even lower number of successful quarterbacks.
Before looking at the stats, let’s define successful. I am accepting a major contributor in a Super Bowl year (Eli Manning), a guy that has multiple pro bowl appearances (Peyton Manning), or a franchise QB (Phillip Rivers) as defined in a previous article of mine.
A quarterback that is so great that when he is on the field, fans know there is a chance to win at all times. A quarterback that is known as an elite leader. A guy who defensive coordinators see as more than a challenge. They see this QB as an obstacle.
Now, keep in mind they don’t have to be a “franchise” quarterback to be judged a success in this. They should be, after being taken in the top-10, but they don’t have to be. I left the 2009 and 2010 draft class as pending, but the final number I got showed me that there is a 47% chance that Gabbert becomes successful. Now, if we are to look at becoming a franchise-caliber quarterback, he has a 32% chance. These aren’t great odds to begin with, then add in that Jacksonvilel has high expectations on their QB’s due to overexposure to Peyton Manning.
Now, let’s take a closer look at Gabbert himself.