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.

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