Jags QB coach: Blaine Gabbert would be top QB in 2013 NFL Draft class

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

No one knows what's going to happen with the Jacksonville Jaguars over the next few years, but the consensus seems to be that the team's future shouldn't involve Blaine Gabbert, their first-round pick in 2011.

But maybe that's just the external consensus; new Jaguars quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo thinks Gabbert, were he in the 2013 draft class, would be the "top guy taken."

“If you graded him out right now, this is his draft class," Scelfo said per The Florida Times-Union. "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."

If Gabbert were coming out this year, rather than in 2011, he'd be coming off a fifth year in college. But that experience doesn't guarantee Gabbert would be that highly thought of. Missouri did just spend its first year playing in the SEC, which would've meant Gabbert playing against vastly super defenses like Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt (!) and Georgia.

My money's on his stock actually sinking as a result of 2012 in this hypothetical. But he still could've been the top quarterback -- this class is a pretty big stinker when it comes to elite quarterbacks. None of Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon or the other quarterbacks inspire substantial hope to become a franchise quarterback.

So maybe Gabbert's the top guy. Heck, maybe he's the top guy with two years in the NFL "already under his belt." Scelfo certainly thinks so.

"Ask the scouting departments and the general managers around the league, and I think you would end up with a yes on that," Scelfo said. "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."

This is Scelfo pumping up Gabbert because the Jaguars are going to be spending another year trying to develop the former first-round pick. They should; he has flashed at times as a talented quarterback, has been over-criticized, has been under-utilized, has never had really great weapons and has been in two bland offensive systems in his career.

So maybe Scelfo can turn Gabbert around. Given the investment in Gabbert (money, a draft pick, the opportunity cost of not drafting J.J. Watt) it's certainly worth the effort.

Especially with how bad this crop of quarterbacks in the draft is looking. Gabbert included.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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