If you believe ESPN's Todd McShay, Missouri Tigers QB Blaine Gabbert is one of the best in the country. In fact, the second best. McShay has Gabbert ranked behind Andrew Luck in the 2011 NFL draft of all quarterbacks. In his overall rankings, Gabbert is No. 20 followed by Washington QB Jake Locker (No. 23), Auburn QB Cam Newton (No. 29) and Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett (No. 31).
There are a few reasons he's in this position:
Size: He's 6'4" and has a strong arm. Size isn't an issue. It's sort of like Chase Daniel with size. For most QBs, that's the hurdle -- are you big and strong enough? Gabbert passes that test.
Experience: He's had two years starting and put up solid numbers both years (better in year one).
The problem is that Gabbert hasn't even made up his mind yet. He'll get looked over by the draft advisory board -- their suggestions come from teams themselves so they probably hold more weight -- and if it's a high grade, like first round, then he'll have a tough decision to make.
Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel has indicated that anyone with a first round grade should probably go ahead and declare. We'll see if McShay's prediction is on but I can see some reasons Gabbert is well-liked.