Is Blaine Gabbert a legitimate top five NFL Draft Pick? The answer is no. However, he might be picked there due to the need for quarterbacks. Gabbert, the former Missouri Tiger, has the athletic tools and skills to spin the pigskin, but he is more flawed in comparison to last year’s top quarterback selected by the St. Louis Rams in Sam Bradford, former Oklahoma Sooner and Heisman winner.
According to an “informal poll” done by Don Banks of SI.com at Gabbert’s pro day in Columbia, he asked NFL personnel evaluators, "how Gabbert compared at this point in the pre-draft process to recent first-round quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford… consensus was that Gabbert, despite having relatively modest success as a collegiate starter, certainly measured up based on his pro day showing.”
Gabbert’s college statistics is lacking when compared to Bradford. In his top season statistically (2009), he had fewer passing yards at 3,593 and less overall TDs with 27 when compared to Bradford’s best season (2008) in which he had 4,720 passing yards with 55 overall touchdowns. Blaine is a fast agile scrambler which ran a 4.61 in the 40 yard dash at the NFL combine and has pro size at 6-4 234 lbs., but he lacks the overall skill and on field recognition that Bradford already had coming into the NFL.
Gabbert is excellent at moving around the pocket when the offensive line gradually breaks down, but sometimes he panics from quick blitz pressure or a D-lineman bull rush such as during the Missouri at Nebraska game last season. Even though he is a sharp intermediate passer, he has had problems with his deep ball accuracy. As well as some people may question his transition to a NFL quarterback since he played in a college spread system at Missouri, but he did well under center on his pro day and he played in a system similar to a pro-form in high school.
The main difference between Gabbert and Bradford is that Sam, other than a few rough edges, was immediately game ready to play in the NFL. Blaine may need more time to develop into a franchise quarterback. Todd McShay of ESPN.com has Gabbert third on his draft board going to Buffalo and he said “give him a year to develop and maybe a couple years down the road, you’re looking at the next Aaron Rodgers. He has that kind of skill set.” Mel Kiper of ESPN.com has him at eleven on his Big Board, but on his mock draft he has him being selected as the number one pick by Carolina.
In my opinion, Blaine Gabbert has a chance at being a great NFL talent, but he is farther behind in the development process than the last couple top drafted quarterbacks. With the lack of top notch QBs in this draft compared to recent years, should an NFL team draft Gabbert or any quarterback in the top five? Go to the fan poll page and vote!
Mormon nation has invaded the college sports world in not just football but now basketball.Saturday night, Brigham Young University’s basketball team stamped a ticket to their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1981 with an 89-67 win over Gonzaga led by Jimmer Fredette’s 34 points. Despite BYU having a firm disciplinary policy, it has not detered the success of their athletic programs.
Brigham Young has mounted a 32-4 record while losing starting forward Brandon Davies near the end of the season for a violation. Even with making the tournament in recent years, this has been by far their best basketball played in quite some time.
“For 40 minutes, it might have been as good as we’ve been all year,” BYU coach Dave Rose said after the third round NCAA tournament win.
Being the avid college football follower that I am, I immediately thought of the BYU football squad and their recent success. They ended last season with only a 7-6 record, but they have still tallied four bowl wins with an overall record of 50-15 over the past five seasons with victories over BCS teams like the Oklahoma Sooners and a 59-0 demolition of the UCLA Bruins.
The Cougars accomplished this success in both sports while under what some consider a strict honor code. BYU is supported and guided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brandon Davies, previously the leading rebounder of the basketball team, was suspended this season and football player Harvey Unga withdrew from school before the 2010 season both for violations of the honor code.
Everyone is aware of the policies at BYU and the former student players are not resentful. Brigham Young University upholds their honor code with disciplinary action no matter the importance of the player to the sport’s program which is stricter than what most universities do with a more lenient code.
The Mormons inclusion in college sports should be respected for their enforcement of polices, but also for the passion they possess for their teams. It was evident as the crowd roared during the basketball game Saturday night and in the many football games that have been well represented by their legion of fans.
Brigham Young will now be an independent in football and be joining the West Coast Conference in basketball. The 2011 football season should be one to be excited about with an interesting schedule including some tough road games and their basketball team is still very alive in the NCAA tournament. Fans of football and basketball alike should now recognize the success of the Cougars and welcome BYU to prominence in the college sports world.
I just wanted to do a quick update about Tressel. I blogged a few days ago that he should be suspended for five games and it looks as though he agrees. He will now be suspended five games upon his own request to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. However, the NCAA still has not ruled on the violations. Will they come down harder on him or be content with the current punishment?
I believe I feel like most typical football fans when it comes to the NFL’s and the NFLPA’s labor dispute; Frustrated and tired of the nonsense. I have been able to set aside most of the radio and sports cable talk about the negotiations since most experts say a deal will be done before the season begins. But now it could affect the NFL Draft!
According to Adam Schefter on ESPN.com, the NFLPA told players to boycott the draft. On the other hand according to other reports, Patrick Peterson of LSU said that he wants to attend and that no one has told him differently.
It does not matter what side you are on or if you are neutral about the labor dispute. We all have one thing in common. All fans want football. The NFL Draft is a last fix for a football junkie before a long summer of baseball. It is a reward for the former college players, their families, friends, and for their current fans to see them move on to the next level while beginning to add new fans. Now that could all be tarnished.
Jim Tressel deserves much more than a slap on the wrist for his neglect. He only received a two game suspension (Akron & Toledo) and a fine from Ohio State for withholding information of possible violations by players. The current punishment is a mere publicity stunt by Gene Smith, OSU Athletic Director, to give the appearance that coach Tressel has been disciplined.
At least that's the only conclusion that makes any sense. The punishment is so weak it is almost an insult to college football. Five Ohio State players including star quarterback Terrell Pryor have already received five game suspensions for the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits. The same improper benefits that Tressel did not disclose the full truth about when asked multiple times. He failed to report emails that notified him before the season of players possibly participating in bad behavior that could result in NCAA violations.
Coach Tressel knew all along during the 2010 season that there was a strong possibility some of his players committed infractions. However, he decided to either lie or withhold information when asked about it by officials. Dez Bryant, former Oklahoma State wide receiver, became ineligible to play the rest of the season in 2009 after only playing three games for basically lying to the NCAA. There has clearly been a recent precedent for sitting players for more games. Will the NCAA step in and increase the two game suspension of a big time coach?
As in the words of Jim Tressel, “the most pathetic thing is a leader looking for self-pity.” The NCAA should also not look for pity. A five game suspension would seem more publicly acceptable and deter other coaches from withholding information. College football needs more than publicity stunts