Continuing our series of articles regarding the young gunslingers the Tennessee Titans could select in the 2011 NFL Draft, today, we'll take a look at Missouri's Blaine Gabbert.
Like Cam Newton, the first potential Titan QB draftee we analyzed, Gabbert has the size and arm you look for in an NFL quarterback. Similar to Newton, there's also a good chance that when selection #8 rolls around, Gabbert may have already been snatched up by a team with a higher pick.
Why the Titans should draft him
There's plenty to like about Blaine Gabbert. He has great size (6'4", 234 lbs) an above-average arm and solid athleticism. He's been described as having good leadership abilities and despite his imposing size, moves pretty well for a guy of his stature. He's also got a lightning-quick release; he does an excellent job of getting the football out pretty quickly.
For the proverbial icing on the cake, Gabbert also has the seal of approval from renowned NFL Draft guru Mike Mayock, who had the following words to say about Gabbert following his stellar Pro Day performance:
"He's my No. 1 quarterback, and to me he's the one quarterback in the draft who, if you've got to bang the table for a franchise quarterback, he's the guy,'' NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said after Gabbert's workout. "The kid confirmed everything you want to see in a franchise quarterback. I thought he did as good as he could have. His footwork was real clean. His arm was real accurate, and his arm strength was great.''
Why the Titans should pass
Reading the scouting reports and watching some footage of Gabbert courtesy of Youtube, there's two reasons why the Titans could decide to go in another direction if Gabbert is still available when the team is on the clock:
-He played in a spread offense at Missouri and as a result, hasn't had a lot of experience operating under the center. Sure, he did a good job of demonstrating the potential to adequately take snaps from the center on his Pro Day, but there's certainly going to be a learning curve for Gabbert as he transitions to a more conventional/pro-style offense at the next level.
-His accuracy on longer throws. In Mizzou's spread attack, Gabbert did a great job of getting the ball out quickly and precisely on quick passes under 10 yards. However, questions have arose about Gabbert's ability to be accurate while tossing the pigskin downfield.
I like Gabbert's potential to become a solid QB in the NFL but as the case with Cam Newton, I'm skeptical of the Titans having the opportunity to unwrap "The Gift of Gabbert" on draft day.