Former Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert earns a spot on dubious list

Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)
Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars currently enjoy stability at the quarterback position due to the presence of Trevor Lawrence. But, it hasn’t always been that way and it took them several attempts before they got it right. One signal-caller the Jags should have probably passed on was Blaine Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Randy Gurzi of FanSided recently drew up a list of players NFL that fans wish their clubs had never acquired and Gabbert was the pick for the Jaguars. Gurzi argues that there were several studs in the 2011 draft but the former Missouri standout wasn’t among them.

"Gabbert’s numbers from college were concerning but he had the size teams over under center at 6-foot-5 and 235-pounds. He also possessed a strong arm and knocked the Wonderlic test out of the park. Jacksonvile was so impressed with him, they traded up to No. 10 to secure his services and he would up starting 14 games as a rookie. Gabbert struggled in those games and ended up with just 13 more starts over the next two seasons before being traded to San Francisco for a sixth-round pick."

The biggest knock on Gabbert was his ability or lack thereof to perform under pressure. Most quarterbacks don’t like to throw the ball while being chased or with two defensive linemen a few inches away from their face, Gabbert crumbled when conditions weren’t optimal and quickly showed he wasn’t fit to be starting quarterback in the NFL. The Jags pulled the plug on him after just three seasons and traded him to the San Franciso 49ers. He went on to spend time with the Arizona Cardinals, the Tennessee Titans, and more recently, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he won a Super Bowl as a backup.

The Jaguars should have waited until the 2nd round to draft a quarterback.

2021 wasn’t a good year to draft a quarterback in the first round. Just like Gabbert, Jake Locker (No. 8) and Christian Ponder (No. 12) struggled in the NFL and both have been out of the league for a while. On the other hand, it paid off for the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers to wait until the second round to take a signal-caller. Cincy selected Andy Dalton and the Niners got Colin Kaepernick. While neither became a franchise quarterback, the two of them enjoyed considerably more success than their peers.

To make matters worse, the Jags traded their 2011 second-round pick to move up six spots to take Gabbert. Had they kept that pick, they could have taken a pass rusher (Ryan Kerrigan, Cameron Jordan, Cameron Heyward) or left tackle Nate Solder and land Kaepernick or Dalton in the second.

It’s true that the draft is a crapshoot but Gabbert was just one of many flops the Jaguars drafted throughout the 2010s. Hindsight is 20/20 but it was clear then that former general manager Gene Smith wasn’t very good at identifying talent. For proof, he chose punter Pat Anger over Russell Wilson in 2012, and to no one’s surprise, he was let go in the same year. His successor, Dave Caldwell wasn’t much better and also struggled to get the quarterback position right.

The Jaguars were fortunate to have the No. 1 pick in the year Trevor Lawrence was available but Blaine Gabbert is one of the many reminders that it’s hard to find a franchise quarterback, and you might need to make several attempts to land one.

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