Blaine Gabbert is going to be the Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback in 2013 as new general manager Dave Caldwell is giving him his final and certainly his best chance at proving he is capable of being a franchise quarterback.
Gabbert’s third chance to take the starting job likely stems from the total lack of quality options in the free agent market and in the draft this offseason, but that is not necessarily a bad thing for the Jaguars. As bad as Gabbert has been in his first two seasons, he is still young and it makes sense to give a former top ten draft pick every opportunity to succeed before deciding to move on.
Recently, the Jaguars have begun to use analytics as part of their decision making process and it was those numbers that led to the decision to select Luke Joeckel with the second overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft despite the fact that they already had a good left tackle on the roster. The numbers the Jaguars had said that Gabbert was a good quarterback when he had at least 2.6 second to throw the football, time he rarely had behind the Jaguars poor offensive line the last two seasons.
The Jaguars are banking on the fact that with a pair of highly drafted bookend tackles, Gabbert will flourish with adequate time in the pocket. To help him even further, the Jaguars went out and added some very potent offensive weapons in Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson to add an explosive dimension that has been lacking in the offense since Gabbert’s arrival.
The Jaguars have nothing to lose by giving Gabbert a final shot to show his talents. If he has success in 2013, and the Jaguars offense begins to click, then they will have their patience rewarded in the form of a franchise quarterback. If he continues to struggle in 2013, then they will be in a prime position to have their pick of what appears to be a very strong quarterback class in the 2014 draft.
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