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2011 NFL Draft: Has Blaine Gabbert Become Wildly Overrated?

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I have an admission to make. I'm not super into college football. I will watch a game on the weekend and read a few things, so I'm not totally ignorant. But I'm not a college football nut. Honestly I learn most about these players after the season and before the draft.

But like I said, I do follow the sport enough that I know who the notable guys are. So it always raises somewhat of a red flag for me when a guy I really never heard of is all of a sudden being mentioned as a top 10 pick. This year, that guy is Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. Newton, Locker, Dalton, Mallet, Kaepernick... all of these guys I knew before the pre draft process began. But Gabbert seemed to rocket up mock drafts out of nowhere.

At least one former NFL scout is scratching his head about Gabbert as well. Dave Razzano, who spent 20 years as a scout in the NFL (and was apparently once fired because he graded Alex Smith as a "backup quality" QB when everyone else had him pegged as a star) simply doesn't understand what everyone else sees in Gabbert.

"What does this guy do that anybody likes?" Dave Razzano asks, pressing the rewind button. "Every pass is an underneath curl route! It’s third-and-10 in the red zone – throw a [expletive] touchdown pass. But look at this: A three-yard dump-off. That’s all he does. He threw the ball just about every play, and he had 16 touchdown passes last season.

"This is the guy somebody’s gonna take in the top 10? Based on what? Trust me, they’re guessing."

You may remember Razzano has the guy who was gushing over Kevin Kolb before the season.

16 TDs to 9 INTs are not the kind of numbers a top NFL QB puts up in college. In fact, a college QB's numbers are usually very inflated, especially when they play in the kind of offense Gabbert did. For instance, Kevin Kolb threw for 30 TDs and just 4 INTs in his senior year and he threw over 40 fewer passes than Gabbert. One of the criticisms of Kolb was that his college numbers were inflated by the spread offense. Gabbert ran it as well and yet his TD numbers are awful.

And now Gabbert is a potential #1 overall pick?

His yards per attempt was was 6.71 last year, which would have been good for 25th best in the NFL last year. That 16/6 TD/INT ratio, those are the numbers put up by Chad Henne last season.

One QB that Razzano is a fan of in this draft class is Jake Locker.

"Everybody says he’s inaccurate," Razzano said as Locker completed an intermediate pass against USC on the TV behind him. "He’s not – he throws a great ball! It’s a low-percentage offense. There’s never anybody open underneath, and he’s got no protection. You can see it if you look closely enough. People are stupid.

"[Brett] Favre went in the second round, right? If you look at their college stats, Favre and Locker are practically identical. Now look at this play: Tell me this guy doesn’t move like Favre, scramble like Favre, throw like Favre. Pretend he has the number four on his jersey. His release is a lot like Favre, too."

Razzano also talked up Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick.

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