2011 NFL Draft: Blaine Gabbert Compares With Joe Flacco

Yahoo Sports' Doug Farrar is the latest draft analyst to take a closer look at Blaine Gabbert, and the good news for Mizzou fans is that he loves what he sees. Some writers are mixed whether Gabbert or Cam Newton is the top quarterback available in April's draft, but it seems that nearly everyone is unanimous that Gabbert is at least one of the top picks in the draft for quarterback starved teams.

The comparison Farrar makes is to former Delaware quarterback and current Raven Joe Flacco. If you'll remember, Flacco had similar knocks against him in college that people are throwing at Gabbert -- that he was a product of a system and questioned whether he'd be able to recover from the spread offense he ran at the college level. Questions still remain about his accuracy, but Farrar even seems to think that he'll overcome that:

When Andrew Luck decided to stay at Stanford, Gabbert benefitted more than anyone else. He's closest to success in a pro-style (heavy on the shotgun) offense because he's got command of different types of intermediate throws, and he's got the kind of arm strength that can be honed by the right kind of coaching. Add in his excellent mobility and ability to roll out of the pocket and make every throw with both feet on the ground, and Gabbert looks more and more like an exceptional pro prospect.

He'll have to learn the things spread quarterbacks don't do that often – snaps under center, play-fakes and play-action – but like Flacco before him, Gabbert is far more than a spread offense washout. He's more mobile than Flacco, and Flacco has a better arm, but it's a decent comp for that reason alone.

Grading him out as an "exceptional" prospect only adds to the hype (and competition with Cam Newton) that will continue to spiral upward as the draft approaches - especially this week with the NFL Combine. We'll continue to see how he grades out through interviews and Pro Day workouts.

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