It’s in Blaine Gabbert’s best interest not to throw at combine

Missouri Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert throws the football in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri on October 23, 2010. Missouri defeated Oklahoma 36-27. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

I just read an article written by Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic that left me scratching my head. (No, not because I can’t read. I readed good.)

In the article, Boivin draws comparisons between first round bust Matt Leinart, who decided not to throw at the scouting combine five years ago, and Missouri prospect Blaine Gabbert, who has decided not to throw at this year’s scouting combine.

This season’s quarterback class is an intriguing one, and eight of the best are scheduled to be in Indianapolis. Only one – Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert – has opted not to throw for scouts.

That’s the same Blaine Gabbert that some analysts think will be drafted by the Cardinals.

Many have done it, but it still is a red flag when a player opts to skip a workout. It screams, “I’m hiding something.”

Hiding something? Nobody questions Gabbert’s arm strength, unlike in 2006 when the majority of pundits wondered whether or not Leinart could make all the throws at the next level.

The main concern about Gabbert is whether or not he can take snaps from under center after running the spread offense at Missouri. That’s something you can’t really dispel at the combine and seeing as how he’s regarded as the top quarterback prospect in this year’s class, why wouldn’t Gabbert wait until his Pro Day to throw? He would be well rested and working out in a controlled environment while throwing to his own receivers. (Unlike at the combine, where he doesn’t know the receivers and would have to throw after a full day of poking and prodding by NFL officials.)

Scouts may be anxious to see Gabbert throw this week, but his agent Tom Condon has the right idea here. Choosing not to partake in certain workouts at the combine rarely hinder a prospect that is regarded as the best at his position. Gabbert’s stock may have fallen according to some pundits, but it’s unlikely that he falls out of the top 10 just because he chooses not to showcase his arm in Indianapolis. NFL teams look at the entire body of work when it comes to a player, as they should.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Is Blaine Gabbert’s stock dropping?

Missouri Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert throws the football in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma Sooners at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri on October 23, 2010. Missouri defeated Oklahoma 36-27. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Almost right on cue, the supposed No. 1 quarterback’s stock is starting to fall.

Every year the media crowns someone the best quarterback prospect in the draft and every year that top signal caller’s stock starts to fall right around the combine. This year, the QB atop most pundits’ rankings is Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert, whose draft stock has begun “slipping” according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

Rotoworld has the details:

According to Kiper, Gabbert’s fall has occurred after NFL teams did “more film work” on the underclassman’s junior year. It’s true that Gabbert did not dominate his competition in 2010, throwing for 16 touchdowns compared to nine picks and averaging an unimpressive 6.71 yards per attempt. Gabbert was much better as a sophomore.

I always find reports like these humorous because they’re so vague. How many teams are we talking about? Because there are five teams in the top-10 that could use a quarterback (Carolina, Buffalo, Arizona, San Francisco and Tennessee), seven if you believe the Bengals will trade Carson Palmer and the Redskins will dump Donovan McNabb.

Have all those teams soured on Gabbert after watching more film? Have three? Have two? Have one?

Or were these not the teams that Kiper was referring to? If they weren’t, then I wonder why Gabbert’s stock would fall just because teams that draft in the middle or bottom half of the first round didn’t like what they saw on film.

I’m not trying to discredit Kiper’s report but without knowing what teams have soured on Gabbert, this news means very little. Plus, he’s a junior so he didn’t perform at the Senior Bowl, the combine is still over a week away and he hasn’t had his Pro Day yet. There’s still a lot of time before the draft, so I would take reports like these with a grain of salt.

Related Posts