Jags’ QB coach: Blaine Gabbert would be the top guy in this draft


Blaine Gabbert hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since the Jaguars chose him with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. But his new position coach still loves his talent.

Frank Scelfo, the new quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville, told Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union that Gabbert, who left Missouri early after one year as a backup and two years as a starter, could easily just be entering this year’s draft after finishing college as a fifth-year senior. And if he were, Scelfo says, Gabbert would be the top quarterback in this year’s draft.

“If you graded him out right now, this is his draft class. If he were coming out and the quarterback draft class the way it is, would he be the top guy taken? I think the answer is yes,” Scelfo said. “Ask the scouting departments and the general managers around the league and I think you would end up with a yes on that. Basically at his age, 23, the number-one pick in the draft with two years of experience already under his belt. That’s pretty good.”

In other words, Scelfo thinks Gabbert is a better quarterback talent than USC’s Matt Barkley, West Virginia’s Geno Smith, North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray, Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib, Arkansas’s Tyler Wilson or any of the other quarterbacks in this year’s draft. If that’s how the Jaguars feel, that’s another sign that they remain committed to him as their starter.

That won’t necessarily please Jaguars fans, but when Scelfo was asked about fans thinking Gabbert is a bust, Scelfo said he wasn’t aware of that.

“I hadn’t heard that. I’m being honest. I’ve met some great people and nobody’s told me all those bad things,” Scelfo said. “I don’t hear all that stuff. I look for the good in everybody.”

And Scelfo sees plenty of good in Gabbert.

68 responses to “Jags’ QB coach: Blaine Gabbert would be the top guy in this draft

  1. I guess if I bought a really crappy car for a lot of money, I’d want to get all the mileage I could out of it too.

  2. He probably would be the top pick in this class though. That’s really more an indictment of how underwhelming this class is than it is a boost of Gabbert’s skillset.

  3. Wow these guys coming out this year must be bad if someone is seriously saying Gabbert is a better prospect than them

  4. He might be the best in this draft…when he’s on the practice field and not taking live action.

    Put him on the field vs these guys in the draft and he becomes the worst…no pocket presence or football smarts/feel for the game whatsoever.

  5. After watching Gabbert play before….

    ….I’d put my money on the guys I haven’t seen play before

  6. I can’t help but wonder how Gabbert would be doing if he had gone to a better franchise with a better coaching staff.

    What would Jim Harbaugh been able to do with him? We’ve seen how he tightened up Alex Smith’s play.

  7. They might as well stick it out this year and go and find a QB next year. This year they need to add another linebacker, a pass rusher, secondary help, another receiver and some O-line help. If they can do all that in the draft with high picks and maybe land a couple if smart free agents Gabbert shouldn’t have to do much because their offense should be pretty solid. Gus Bradley knows a thing or 2 about defense so in couple of years they could be a playoff team or borderline playoffs team IF they find a QB but I expect that coach to tighten up that defense like he did in Seattle. MoJo is the only other problem long term though.

  8. I haven’t heard any of that…. lol
    And you took the job without doing any type of research on the players… Did you not see any game tape of the last two years, and your an NFL QB coach…. WOW…!

  9. One of the first signs that the grown-ups were running the front office in Washington was NOT drafting this guy and trading out of the 10th pick with the Jags.

  10. I guess its the same ol, same ol with the Jags… didn’t they learn with Gene Smith??? Clean house means, CLEAN HOUSE!!!! Now we have an idiot as QB coach that “only sees the good in people”. Not a good quality if you are a talent evaluator… 🙂 wow…date I say – “oh no, we suck again”. Good luck selling tickets. And for those who made the 3 year commitment, it’s going to be a long year. All in baby!.. no wait, what’s the new slogan..oh wait…who Cares!

  11. Do Andrew Luck and RG3 get to be a part of this draft too? How about Colin Kaepernick? Cam Newton? Andy Dalton? Hell what about Ryan Tannehill?

    If all the guys who left early the past 2 years get to be graded the same way as Gabbert, I wonder if his coach would still think Gabbert’s the top guy. Actually, I don’t wonder. I know. He wouldn’t.

  12. Full disclosure: I’m a Jaguars season ticket holder, so I’ve seen this guy play since he arrived. And despite all the snide comments (most of which have probably come from people who have never seen more than a highlight of a Jags game), Scelfo probably isn’t off the mark too much. First of all, read what’s he’s saying: if Gabbert hadn’t come out early and played his senior year, he would have had more experience, been older and probably more physically developed then when he left school, making him a better college QB and possibly better than a lot of the current draft crop.

    That being said, consider his career so far – he gets drafted #10 overall. He’s a junior and the youngest player at that position in the NFL (he’s still the 2nd youngest in the league now). The lockout kills all preseason activities, including working with any team coaching staff, until two weeks before the 2011 season begins.

    His coach CUTS THE STARTER about a week before the season starts. The backup, a mediocre (at best) career backup, is made the starter. He crashes and burns in the second game of the season against the Jets. Gabbert is then handed the reins of the offense for the rest of the season, yet the Jaguars (mostly because of Jones-Drew’s league leading rushing) somehow manage to squeeze out five wins. The coach is fired before the end of the season.

    This season, he has an entire new coaching staff, a banged-up line, a couple of young weapons also still learning the pro game and still only one full pre-season to get ready and literally no running game. He lasts for about half the season before an elbow injury. The Jaguars win 2 games.

    Now he’s entering the new season with an entire new coaching staff AGAIN. He’s more mature now, and hopefully healthy. There will be a competition at QB for Jacksonville, with Gabbert, probably Henne and I’m guessing a mid- to-late-round developmental guy.

    I’m the last one to say “give the guy a chance”, since that’s what the pro-Tebow crowd is always whining. The big difference here is that Gabbert is a legitimate pocket passer who’s had nothing but roadblocks thrown in his way for a job he *legitimately won* in camp. They have a lot invested in him, and he’s going to have to prove he can do it…again…but considering the crop in the draft and the lousy pickings in free agency, I think he’ll be able to get it done.

    Just my two cents.

  13. I know it’s really easy to bash him, but if you examine the situation:

    1) 21 years old and thrown into the starting role in the 3rd game after the lockout

    2) Entering his 3rd year he is experiencing his 3rd entire coaching staff change.

    3) The players around him were amongst the worst in the league.

    I’m not saying he will end up great, but it is certainly premature to write him off at this point.

  14. Russell Wilson would recieve a RG3 type trade if he came out this year…….yeah let’s play what if all day.

    If Dan Marino came out in this draft he could spend the combine smoking cigerrettes and nailing underage girls on camera while attending parties thrown by Vince Young and he would be drafted #1 overall.

    If John Elway came out in this draft he would be able to go #1 overall if he faked his own kidnapping and ran off on a 2 week gay vacation with Vince Young.

  15. What an insane staff they’ve assembled in Jacksonville.

    I’m tempted to give these guys the benefit of the doubt and assume they haven’t turned on the tape of Blaine Gabbert’s last two years.

    And in all honesty, you could turn on the Mizzou tape and come away underwhelmed.

  16. The Jags are the worst franchise in the NFL.

    Even worse than the Bills.

    The Bills thought it was a good idea to bring in the entire Syracuse coaching staff. Yeah, because Syracuse’ is a real football powerhouse. Marrone was such a typical Buffalo Bills hire.

  17. Everyone is so quick to condemn with little evaluation skills, often from people who didn’t even watch him play every game. I am no scout or GM but I have seen him make some great throws that few others make. I feel he hasn’t been coached very well his first year (by a WR coach coaching QBs who got fired) and progressed well last year. He didn’t have an offseason his first year but showed a lot in his second offseason.
    I feel if he would have been in the same offense as Cam Newton, RG3 and these other rookie sensations, he probably would have had more success. He was put into a traditional offense when he no prior experience.
    Now with a coaching staff familiar with both college and pro offenses, they can draw from more than just conservative philosophies on how an NFL team plays offense.
    He needs to throw more downfield and less of that drinking and dunking. But I believe in him. Obviously, so does experts like Caldwell and our new coaches.

  18. All this statement does is put into perspective how bad this draft class is. There is going to be some QB hungry teams taking huge risks this year and coming up short. Normally I don’t believe in stop-gap quarterbacks, but this year is the exception.

  19. Caldwell’s approach is the Falcons approach: find a QB, build around him and in 3-4 years, you’re competitive. They will be patient with Gabbert, who has had 3 head coaches in 2 seasons and lost the NFL Rushing title holder as his RB in his 2nd year to injury. His entire WR corps was garbage in his rookie year and barely improved in his 2nd year.

    They have him under contract for 2 more years. He’s prototype size and arm strength. He tore his labrum and played through it, which showed toughness. He had grit and didn’t want to lose his gig. He through for 300 on the road in Green Bay (not that GB’s defense is shut-down, but still). What do you want the Jags to do with a 23 year old QB? Throw him away and watch someone else figure out how to make a winner out of him???

    We ain’t talking about Jamarcus, here.

  20. That’s a terrible statement to make. Brady Quinn would be the top QB in this draft. Obviously that’s not saying much for the draft. Just shows how bad this draft is for QB’s. I feel sorry for any team that needs a QB this year. They may as well pack it in for another year and wait till next year to go after a franchise QB.

  21. Gabbert’s biggest problem isn’t physical, it’s mental.

    Lets face it, the guy is a mental midget.

  22. Talk about a huge insult to this yrs. QB class. If Gabbert would be the topped ranked QB if he was coming out this yr. that must speak volume’s about how horrible this yrs. class is, oooor it must just be that whenever a coach is hired in Jacksonville they catch a bad case of stupid and lose sight of reality. That seems more likely given Jacksonville’s past history.

  23. Don’t care about his college FB skill set or what year he’d be in. If you’re scared to death of an NFL pass rush you can’t be a bona fide NFL QB.

  24. Give him an offseason to work with Blackmon. Let the new coaching staff build the O-line. Bring back a healthy MJD then after next season lets talk about whether or not he is the QB for the Jags. He is too young and talented to write off. The lockout really hurt the development of many young players.

  25. Before anyone disses this Qb class which we haven’t seen play a nfl game yet, let’s not forget he is the jags qb coach what’s he supposed to say.

  26. This quote is coming from a biased source. This might not be a banner year for QBs, but I’ll be shocked if there aren’t at least a few who go on to have better careers than Gabbert. I was never that impressed with Gabbert when he did come out for the draft, and I’m not the least bit surprised that he looks like a bust thus far.

  27. Blaine Gabbert SUCKED in college. His numbers and throws were no where near what Geno Smith has done. Blaine only threw 16 TD’s his Junior year. Geno just threw 42 in his 1st year in the big 12 with only 6 INTs.

    You are really going to listen to anyone on the Jags coaching staff? What has anyone on this team ever accomplished??? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. This guy is a complete idiot, Gabbert is a bum and any team that is in need of a QB that passes over Geno will regret it.

  28. As Gabbert’s coach, whether he believes in the guy or not, it is necessary to support the players he has. He is saying the right things, no need to hurt a young QB’s confidence.

  29. The thing about replacing someone is that you have to have access to someone better to do it. Either the Jags don’t see that “someone better”, or they aren’t sure they’ll have access to him yet. Belichick would replace Brady in a day if a better QB ended up in that locker room; why should a new regime in Jacksonville feel any more loyal to Gabbert?

  30. a few people forget that Gabbert was supposed to be a top 5 pick and fell to the Jags. Most mock drafts had him top 5. Jags needed a QB and they got lucky until he started playing. He was a very good QB in college and I thought he was going to be a very good pro. Stop evaluating his pro career and look at his college career and most def he would be the top QB pick in the draft, maybe the top overall. Hell, Jamarcus Russell would be the top QB in this years draft if you’re going off of college.
    And THAT’S why drafts are so hit and miss

  31. This coach is delusional and, if I’m the GM, I just go ahead and fire him right now.

    First, the coach is referencing the fact that Gabbert would be coming out as a fifth-year senior, which again underscores the absurdity of the Jaguars drafting him two years ago. He likely will never be ready, but he certainly wasn’t ready two drafts ago.

    Second, it is just as likely, considering the lackluster performance that resulted in his being benched for journeyman Henne, that he would have gone “Matt Barkley” and/or “Landry Jones,” and wold have tanked had he stayed in college.

    Finally, this is one of the weakest drafts at the QB position in recent memory, but just as anyone with half a brain wouldn’t argue that Tim Tebow would be at the top of even this weak draft at QB, no one who has watched any film of “Duck and Cover” Gabbert would make that argument as to him.

  32. I think Gabbert would be a much better football player if only he didn’t suck so badly at being a quarterback. Other than that, I think he’s got a chance.

  33. The reality is he SHOULD be in this draft class. It was a smart financial decision on his part to come out early but in terms of football it was a mistake compounded by the Jags picking him way earlier than he should have been. He wasn’t all that great in college (16 TDs and 9 INTs his final year) but somehow he ended up the 10th pick. If you look up “reach” in the dictionary you see his face smiling back at you.

  34. And this is why the Jags will continue to be in the basement of the NFL for decades to come.

    My suggestion? Buy more tarps!


  35. stability hasn’t been the by word in Jacksonville…got little work in the lock-out of season…..not expected to play…..then thrust into the starting role 3rd game…tough….

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