40: 4.70 (estimated)
Gets the ball out quickly with a good release and can make the quick decisions. Is accurate and shows good anticipation on many of his throws. Can throw guys open and fit tight windows. Has good arm strength to throw the ball down the field. Has nice touch on his intermediate throws and does a good job working down the seam. Is able to go to his second progression and read. Can use the pump fake to move the safety and hit the receiver in stride. Shows some mobility and speed when he tucks it and runs, able to pick up yards when the pass breaks down. Shows some potential to step up and deliver a sharp, accurate ball over the middle.
Usually goes to his first read and only has to scan half the field. Occasionally will wait for guys to get open and be a second late on some throws. Flat-footed in the pocket having worked exclusively out of the shotgun. Doesn't always step into his throws and doesn't do a great job resetting his feet when on the move. Not great throwing on the run or comfortable when you force him to extend the play and move around. Doesn't have a great feel for pressure to slide and move within the pocket to avoid the pass rush. His footwork dips when under pressure, and thus his accuracy as well. Will float some throws over the middle, leaving his receivers out to dry. Doesn't show great touch on the vertical routes and will overthrow guys at times.
Gabbert has good size, nice athleticism, and a good arm. He's accurate. But he's transitioning from a spread system and being a dropback passer is probably going to take some development. When he's forced to move around, he's less effective. There is a lot to like about Gabbert's game going forward with his decision making and accuracy, he has the potential to be a very productive pocket passer. A two-year starter at Missouri that took over for Chase Daniel as a sophomore, leading Mizzou to a 8-5 record, completing 58.9% of his 445 passes for 3593 yards, 24 TDs, and 9 INTs. Also rushed for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns. Improved as a junior with a 10-3 record, 63.4% completions on 475 attempts, 3186 yards, 16 TDs, and 9 picks. Drop in production as far as touchdowns go probably had a lot to do with the loss of Danario Alexander, their one dynamic, explosive receiver during his sophomore year to a group of guys that were more chain movers than playmakers as a junior.
Gabbert comes from an offense similar to the one Sam Bradford played in at Oklahoma, and Bradford transitioned fairly well to the pro game as a rookie. But that was mainly because of how the Rams offense was designed which was a lot of short, quick, and easy throws, and as he got a better feel for the game, they allowed him to go downfield a bit more. Such a design would behoove Gabbert's development at the next level. He has the arm strength to be a vertical passer, but it's probably not going to be a huge part of his game early in his career. I also see a bit of Peyton Manning when I see Gabbert play. I'm not talking about his intangibles and what not, but with his accuracy, ability to throw goes open, and the fact that he's not known for his mobility, there is something Manning-esque to his game. He's a better athlete than Manning ever was, but I don't think his running speed and ability is going to translate to him being a mobile passer, in terms of really excelling at moving around the pocket. Making him move, as it is with Manning will cause him more problems than not. There are three chief concerns with Gabbert as far as his NFL development goes. The first is that pocket mobility and how well he's going to be at extending plays and moving around to avoid rush, particularly when he takes snaps from under center. The second is his ability to read NFL defenses. And the third is whether he has the intangibles to be an elite passer. Truthfully, the first two aren't major concerns of mine. As he gains more experience, I don't think they are going to be huge flaws to his game. I think he's going to be accurate and decisive enough that he can overcome those issues. As for the third part, I haven't seen enough of Gabbert to have a strong feeling one way or the other. I don't see any real red flags as far as that thing goes. He's smart, has a good head on his shoulders. I just don't know how he deals with adversity, performs in the clutch. But again, I haven't seen anything to suggest he's bad in those situations. I think in the long run, he's going to wind being a poor man's Peyton Manning. I don't know if he's going to have the production and the competitiveness and drive and what not that Manning has that makes him in the conversation for best quarterback of all-time. But I certainly see the tools and potential to make him one of the elite quarterbacks in the national football league. I don't see much to suggest that he couldn't handle being a starter right away, although I think like many he'll go through some growing pains. But there is little about him to think he'd crumble in such a situation. I think ultimately he's going to be a guy that can consistently complete 65% of his passes, play in a pass-happy offense that likes to spread the ball around and play a ton in the shotgun, which is very reminiscent of the offense that the Colts have.
Good trade bait for the Falcons that is one of the other QBs in this class that could actually give Ryan a run for his money as the Falcons starting quarterback. Obviously that's a situation that is not going to occur, but his arm strength means he has better potential to develop as a vertical passer down the road than Ryan currently shows.
I'm not thoroughly convinced that Gabbert is a true franchise-caliber passer, but he's pretty close and definitely worth a Top 10 pick if not Top 3 pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 4.0
Decision Making: 4.0
Pocket Awareness: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.