The commonly held belief was that Blaine Gabbert was a top tier quarterback. Technically, that’s still true with the Missouri quarterback being taken in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, but the steps taken to this point have been anything but predictable. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the pro level home for Gabbert, a team that already has a solid quarterback option in place compared with so many other teams with tremendous voids at the position. Then again, when you have a chance to grab the franchise option at quarterback, you take it.
Gabbert was predicted to head anywhere in the Top 5 for most of the pre-season, including a possible No. 1 overall choice for Carolina. Recent days led to speculation at No. 7 to San Francisco or even later to the Vikings at No 12 or Dolphins at No. 15. The Jags sat at No. 16 overall, so they were never really considered as an option. With Garrard in place, it’s adds further to the questionable nature of the trade. Yet Gabbert’s talent clearly struck GM Gene Smith.
Even more interesting is the team they traded with: the Washington Redskins. The Skins clearly have a need at quarterback with the failure of Donovan McNabb last season. While it’s known that the Skins want to recoup some of this year’s lost draft picks, to have a possible answer at quarterback falling to No. 10 is a scenario they should have went with. Apparently Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen weren’t convinced of Gabbert’s long term talent — showing the very volatile nature of NFL draft boards team by team.
In the end, Gabbert said he was just honored to play in the NFL, and Jacksonville provides a low-pressure scenario with a savvy veteran already in place so Gabbert can learn the game. It’s a win-win scenario for Jacksonville even if was unexpected. As for Washington, who knows what’s going on in the nation’s capital?