There was a time Garrett Gilbert was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. Gilbert stayed in-state to play football for Texas and his career has been downhill since then. In Gilbert’s sophomore year at Texas, Gilbert was the starter, but he only threw 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Gilbert was given a second chance in his junior season to start, but he was shut down for the year just a few games in because of a nagging shoulder injury. Gilbert transferred to SMU for two seasons and ended his college career by throwing for over 8,400 yards and 36 touchdowns.
With Gilbert, the St. Louis Rams are getting a quarterback who is coming from great bloodlines. His father, Gale, was a professional quarterback and Garrett has a ton of similarities to his father. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Gilbert passes the eye test. He has a great feel for the pocket and he had perhaps the strongest pro day out of any quarterback in this year’s draft class. Here’s what NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock had to say about Gilbert:
“(SMU head coach) June Jones grabbed me at East-West Shrine Game. He told me to put in some tape on Gilbert. If a coach is banging the table for his guy, I have to listen. So, I did that. He has some pocket feel and awareness. I like him as a guy you can develop in the long-term. I like the arm talent.”
The thing that bothers me most about Gilbert is the system he played in at SMU. June Jones’ offense is a high-powered spread offense where quarterbacks thrive in because the passes they make are generally short and quick. Looking at his NFL future, Gilbert will start the year behind Sam Bradford and Kellen Clemens as a third-string developmental quarterback. The Rams love to run the football and that will help Gilbert if he ever gets the chance to start. Running the football opens up the field for quarterbacks and this will make it easier for Gilbert. If the Rams don’t start out well in the 2014-15 season, Gilbert could be given an opportunity to show what he’s got.