Blog Entry

Unfamiliarity breeds...confusion?

Posted on: March 16, 2011 8:16 pm

Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert faces the biggest day of his young professional career Thursday, with NFL scouts and media descending on Columbia to see his first post-season throwing session.

Much like fellow top ten quarterback prospect Cam Newton, Gabbert is using the Tigers' pro day to show scouts he can get out from under center and make all of the NFL throws with accuracy and velocity.

One thing he won't have, however, is familiar receivers. Newton threw to former teammates Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachery (though not as accurately as some scouts would have preferred) during Auburn's workout last week, but since Missouri lacks senior receivers eligible for this year's draft, Gabbert will be throwing to two talented small school wideouts from around the state.
Jamere Holland is not a typical NAIA receiver, however, as the Lindenwood star transferred from Oregon after being dismissed from that program for team violations. Holland averaged 21.8 yards a catch (42-899) and scored eight touchdowns for the Lions this year, then the 5-11, 191-pound weidoute ran in the mid-4.4's at Lindenwood's pro day, testing well in other categories as well.

Central Missouri wideout Jamorris Warren burst onto the scene in 2010 with 109 receptions for 1,458 yards and 20 scores in 14 games. Scouts will certainly be interested in how close he measures to his 6-1, 195 listing, as well as his timed speed.

Gabbert has only had a few days to work with these receivers, which is a concern when every throw is scruntized to the fullest in a pro day environment. If each receiver runs two or three inexact routes or drops throws outside of their frame, scouts will be less impressed than they would be if no passes hit the ground.

The fact that Gabbert and his handlers chose not to throw at the Combine has painted him in a bit of a corner here, but Holland and Warren may have enough talent to not only to aid him in his quest to be the number one pick, but also to help their own draft stock to the dozens of NFL personnel in attendance.

--Contributed by Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

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