The Missouri Tigers lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2010 Insight Bowl in a game that featured QB Blaine Gabbert showing off his skills only to throw an interception later that ended up costing Mizzou the game. Gabbert's stock in the 2011 NFL draft definitely did something after this performance -- I'm just not sure what.
Throughout the game the announcers Sean McDonough and Matt Millen were gushing over Gabbert from his size to his brains to his decision-making -- they liked what Gabbert was throwing out there. And how could you not? He came out firing starting the game 8-of-9 at one point and ended with nearly 300 yards before halftime. There were times on Tuesday night in the Insight Bowl that I thought this guy should be the No. 1 pick. He has the ability to look that good.
He ended the day completing 41-of-57 passes for 434 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions (and a rushing touchdown).
Of course, a couple of minutes after Millen predicted the NFL draft advisory committee will issue Gabbert a high first round pick grade, he throws an interception in the end zone (the first one, which wasn't completely his fault).
And, of course, Gabbert threw a pick to Micah Hyde with about five and a half minutes remaining that was returned for a 72-yard touchdown and was eventually the difference in the Tigers 27-24 loss. The second interception was all on Gabbert and it was just a bad decision. No other way around it.
So while I love most of his performance, it's hard to ignore that mistake.
The ESPN announcers said there were several GMs in the house and I imagine at least a few of them had eyes on Gabbert and noticed what he was able to do. I think his stock rises after this game because mistakes will happen but 6'4", accurate and smart won't always happen.