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!