Is Blaine Gabbert a Cautionary Tale For Carson Wentz Buyers?
I’m not going to lie here. I am a fan of Carson Wentz’s game. Perhaps not as big a fan as some, like Mike Mayock, but I like what Wentz brings to the table and I am bullish on his long term potential.
As I watched some of Wentz’s film the other day, I could not help but make some comparisons to Blaine Gabbert’s college film. Not to say they are mirror images at all, but they do have some striking similarities. Just look at their combine numbers. It’s almost scary.
Graphics pulled from NFL.COM.
See what I mean? Now I know what some of you are thinking, and I am thinking it too. The fact that they have similar body types and agility numbers does not mean they will have similar career arcs. Fair enough. Still, they have some non-measurable similarities, too. Both have pretty big arms. Both have (or had) some learning to do at the next level. Gabbert needed time to learn an NFL offense—time that he never really got (413 pass attempts as a rookie) until after he failed at his first NFL stop. Wentz needs some time to adjust to a new level of play, because the jump from the FCS is bigger than the jump from some of the bigger and better conferences. Not to say that Wentz can’t make the transition. We know he has NFL measurables and he was a great student at NDSU. So, we know he’s got both the capacity to learn along with the worth ethic and the obvious physical traits.
The point here, is that no matter how much you may love Wentz, we’ve seen guys like him come in and need time before. Gabbert showed last year that he’s better than many gave him credit for after his early career meltdowns. If the Jaguars had brought him along more carefully, who knows if the outcome may have been different. Hopefully Wentz is given the time he needs wherever he lands.
So, while I absolutely like Wentz as a prospect, it’s always good to look at all angles, and the Gabbert angle is a sobering one. It's a reminder that guys who look the part are not always ready for the big stage, and that there's value in being an understudy.