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Variety of data suggested Jaguars should take a tackle in Round One

Blaine+Gabbert+Indianapolis+Colts+v+Jacksonville+IxW4_2r3NUfl Getty Images

The Jaguars have stood pat at quarterback in the offseason, good news for third-year pro Blaine Gabbert, who thus gets another chance to show he can be the club’s long-term answer at the position.

Whether Gabbert can seize the opportunity remains to be seen. But this is much is clear — the Jaguars believe improving the pass protection even just a little bit could help Gabbert, and they have data that suggests as much.

In a story published Friday, Jaguars general manager David Caldwell told NFL.com’s Albert Breer that data provided by senior vice president of football technology and analytics Tony Khan in the pre-draft process helped show how Gabbert’s performance related to the time he had to throw. Khan’s data, Breer reported, showed that Gabbert ranked among the “top-third” of the NFL at his position when he had 2.6 seconds before throwing.

In two NFL seasons, Gabbert has been sacked 62 times in 25 games (24 starts), and though he’s thrown more TDs than interceptions (21-17), he’s completed just 53.8 percent of his throws, and his play has come under criticism.

The statistics provided by Khan, Caldwell told NFL.com, did help the Jaguars decide to take an offensive tackle second overall. According to Caldwell, the Jaguars had decided two weeks before the draft that they would be taking either Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher with the No. 2 overall pick if Kansas City took one of the tackles first.

“What we did was fill a need where the value met the need,” Caldwell told NFL.com. “It became clear two weeks prior, after we met with the scouting staff, the personnel staff, got their feedback, that the two highest-rated guys were the tackles. The coaches told us we needed to upgrade the line. So this was gonna be a solid pick; we felt we’d get a cornerstone, a pillar for the team.”

The Chiefs, of course, took Fisher, leaving Joeckel for the Jaguars. Joeckel is expected to ply right tackle for Jacksonville as a rookie, with veteran Eugene Monroe on the left side. Monroe, per Pro Football Focus statistics, gave up just five sacks a season ago, but Cameron Bradfield and Guy Whimper, who combined to start all 16 games at right tackle for Jacksonville in 2012, surrendered a combined 11 sacks, according to PFF.

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29 Responses to “Variety of data suggested Jaguars should take a tackle in Round One”
  1. dnelson21 says: May 3, 2013 3:28 PM

    For all the knocks on Gabbert, just put in the tape. When he gets time, he has a pretty good arm. My issue with him is that after 3-4 good throws, he can throw one that will ruin the drive in a turnover. Consistency may get adjusted with more time in the pocket, but you would hope to see more than what the Jags have in Gabbert through two full seasons as a QB. I think that there is no doubt more time in the pocket helps, but that is true for any backup as well. Gabbert’s instincts are more in question compared to his arm.

  2. greebytime says: May 3, 2013 3:43 PM

    With all due respect, Tony Khan is the least impressive NFL executive I’ve ever seen speak – and that is saying something. He latches on to stats that mean nothing (he’s particularly interested in how long someone has an NFL career which I get, but it doesn’t tell you if they are mediocre or great), and if you think that Blaine Gabbert has the potential to be a great QB, you need to pull your nose out of your laptop. Khan is the kind of guy who I’d love to play against in a fantasy league – he gets stats; he doesn’t get context.

  3. pcjag says: May 3, 2013 3:45 PM

    “Gabbert ranked among the “top-third” of the NFL at his position when he had 2.6 seconds before throwing.”

    ___________________

    The four times that he had 2.6 seconds of protection he completed 75% of his passes.

  4. brazy44 says: May 3, 2013 3:46 PM

    This just in: More time to throw makes your QB more accurate.
    Wow, thanks stat guy. Could have never figured this out without your super computer.

  5. jimmylions says: May 3, 2013 3:51 PM

    Interesting that the NFL is getting sort of “moneyball” – ish when it comes to crunching numbers. Comparing a QBs accuracy when he has time to throw vs. when he doesn’t sort of seems like common sense, but there are plenty of cases when that didn’t happen.

  6. trevor123698 says: May 3, 2013 3:54 PM

    I’ve said it before Gabbert is not that bad and the same goes for Brandon Weeden. They can both sling the rock

  7. sfm073 says: May 3, 2013 3:56 PM

    Gabbert has happy feet and he had them before he entered the league.

  8. greebytime says: May 3, 2013 3:57 PM

    I think he can be capable, and I think there was also no true franchise QB in this draft. I don’t begrudge the Jags not taking a QB and instead getting a better offensive line. But while I know the Jags need to support their guy and hope for the best this year, I was only suggesting that this kind of stat is weak sauce.

    I am not quite sure why the Jags wouldn’t be trying to trade for Ryan Mallett or someone like that, at least as a backup. At least they aren’t drinking the Tebow Kool-Aid anymore.

  9. milkmandanimal says: May 3, 2013 4:05 PM

    The first game I ever saw Gabbert play was his last college game, the Insight Bowl vs. Iowa. At first, I was completely amazed by Gabbert, because he was making everything throw utterly perfectly and he looked simply amazing. Then Iowa’s rush picked up, and I realized Gabbert was a phenomenal QB when left alone, but the moment he had to move off his spot he was just terrible. I haven’t seen anything in the pros that has changed my opinion.

    Every QB is good if they have time. What makes you actually good is your ability to make a throw when you don’t have time.

  10. thegreatgabbert says: May 3, 2013 4:07 PM

    The team affects the quarterback’s performance much more than vica versa. Chad Henne’s stats were worse than Blaine’s in the half season he played in the same offense. Mike Vick and Nick Foles numbers were nearly identical. Alex Smith was slightly better than Colin Kaepernick, Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck very close to each other. Even Cousins in the brief time he played had similar numbers to Griffin. Last year Matt Flynn had a better game in his single start with the Packers than any of Aaron Rodgers. There are endless examples.

  11. greebytime says: May 3, 2013 4:13 PM

    I can tell by the handle “thegreatgabbert” that you may not be unbiased here. :) And in general I don’t disagree with what you’ve said – HOWEVER, saying that Alex Smith was slightly better than Colin Kaepernick is borderline insane. Even saying Kaepernick was SLIGHTLY better than Smith is insane. CK was leagues better, and not all of it shows up in the stats. EVERYBODY who watched all the games before and after could see it.

    I say this as a stats geek, but not everything translates to numbers. This explains greatness; it also explains why Gabbert’s numbers might not be terrible, but if you watch him, you may wonder if he can really play NFL caliber football. I think the jury is still out, but it doesn’t look good.

  12. thegreatgabbert says: May 3, 2013 4:23 PM

    Myeeh…Smith had the same winning % as Kaepernick as well.

  13. orangehawk4 says: May 3, 2013 4:24 PM

    How many seconds did opposing QBs have to throw?

  14. johnnyjagfan says: May 3, 2013 4:28 PM

    Gabbert could have stayed in college until this draft.

    Where would he have been drafted? Think KC would have traded for Alex Smith?

    I went to enough games last year and saw enough “snap, duck and cover” dropbacks by Gabbert to make me want to give up on him. Then he threw for 300+ at Green Bay. Then he tore his labrum on his non-throwing shoulder and played hurt with it. He wasn’t going to let go of the job until he was forced to. That showed me something I liked out of a QB.

    Bring on the competition in Camp.

  15. lucimorland says: May 3, 2013 4:34 PM

    If your name is “Blaine” and you are on the football field, you’re either the kicker, the trainer, or the water boy.

    Anything else is just you kidding yourself.

  16. crownofthehelmet says: May 3, 2013 4:38 PM

    “…Gabbert ranked among the “top-third” of the NFL at his position when he had 2.6 seconds before throwing.”

    Unfortunately, anything below or above 2.6 seconds, Gabbert ranked dead last.

  17. thegreatgabbert says: May 3, 2013 4:42 PM

    You didn’t need PFF stats to know that you should draft Luke Joeckel at #2. You just get down on your knees and thank the gods that K.C. had too much time to think things over.

  18. aberystwyth2 says: May 3, 2013 4:44 PM

    “Joeckel is expected to ply right tackle for Jacksonville as a rookie, with veteran Eugene Monroe on the left side. ”

    WHAT where’s all the people yelling that the Jags spent their 1st rounder on a RT, the same way folks are yelling about the Chiefs having Fisher play RT?

  19. pcjag says: May 3, 2013 4:55 PM

    “I am not quite sure why the Jags wouldn’t be trying to trade for Ryan Mallett or someone like that, at least as a backup.”

    _________

    Because all teams want to trade their draft picks for back-ups. C’mon man.

  20. 8to80texansblog says: May 3, 2013 5:13 PM

    aberystwyth2 says:
    May 3, 2013 4:44 PM
    “Joeckel is expected to ply right tackle for Jacksonville as a rookie, with veteran Eugene Monroe on the left side. ”

    WHAT where’s all the people yelling that the Jags spent their 1st rounder on a RT, the same way folks are yelling about the Chiefs having Fisher play RT?
    ===================================

    Yeah that’s stupid….

    When will the NFL realize that LT and RT are not interchangeable. How many times do we have two LTs on the All Pro team.

    Eric Winston used to talk about it all the time that there is a big difference between the two positions. It would be like being left handed and then trying to be right handed all the sudden. It doesn’t work so well. (OK probably not THAT extreme, but you get the point)

  21. surigaostraits says: May 3, 2013 5:18 PM

    Henne or Tebow will be the starter by the 4th game

  22. therillest says: May 3, 2013 5:40 PM

    I wonder if this factors in Blaine Gabbert tendency to feel phantom pressure and deliver the ball way too early? He had that problem his whole career. I guess he needed tackles in college too!

  23. billyjaguar says: May 3, 2013 7:06 PM

    Unfortunately Gabbert will crash and burn this year. Jags will draft Clowney or Bridgewater in the top 3 next year.

  24. blancodiablo says: May 3, 2013 7:09 PM

    Henne played better using the same line. And Henne isn’t very good. Which means Gabbert is awful. Here’s to a wasted year until we draft Bridgewater or Manziel.

  25. swo says: May 3, 2013 9:53 PM

    I don’t get it. People will say we have a offensive line that has been, well, offensive. They’ll acknowledge that Gabbert didn’t have the training to immediately become an NFL QB. He is on his 3rd different playbook, 3rd Offensive Coordinator, 2nd Head Coach, GM and owner in 3 years. He has thrown less interceptions than touchdowns, has a great arm and can make throws that few QBs even in the NFL can throw. Hell, he’s even younger than QBs coming out in the draft now. People will acknowledge all that but don’t put that together and say, “I’m surprised he hasn’t done a lot worse!”
    He is constantly assaulted by media, locally and nationally and by comments like these. He has never complained and has never made excuses. I, for one, am glad he’s a Jag and expect great things from him.

  26. joetoronto says: May 4, 2013 4:12 AM

    blancodiablo says:
    May 3, 2013 7:09 PM
    Henne played better using the same line. And Henne isn’t very good. Which means Gabbert is awful. Here’s to a wasted year until we draft Bridgewater or Manziel.
    ***************************************************
    This is the truth, it might not be what everybody wants to hear, but it’s the truth.

  27. pcjag says: May 4, 2013 12:15 PM

    “Henne played better using the same line. And Henne isn’t very good. Which means Gabbert is awful. ”

    __________

    Passing Player Att Comp Yds Comp % Yds/Att TD TD% INT INT% Long Sck Sack/Lost Rating

    Chad Henne 308 166 2,084 53.9 6.8 11 3.6 11 3.6 81 28 169 72.2
    Blaine Gabbert 278 162 1,662 58.3 6.0 9 3.2 6 2.2 80 22 158 77.4

    Pretty much the same, but Gabbert wasn’t worse.

  28. razzzmajazzz says: May 4, 2013 2:17 PM

    So we have some nerd crunching numbers telling us that Gabbust needs 2.6 seconds. Sounds fair that we give him that since 2.6 is all that yards he gives us per completion. The only stat I care about are wins and we will never have any of those with Gabbust.

  29. fruitcovejag says: May 5, 2013 12:30 AM

    Lets go Jags!

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