They were drafted the same year, two rounds apart, and their pro NFL careers could not be more different.
Blaine Gabbert, a 1st round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, has had a pretty uneventful first three years in the pros; 22 touchdown passes, 24 interceptions, and a career QB rating of 66.4.
By comparison, he’s right on track with the career of former 49ers QB Alex Smith, who after his first three seasons, tossed 19 touchdown passes to 29 interceptions and held a QB rating of 57.6.
Gabbert like Smith, is hoping for a career revival with Jim Harbaugh as the head coach.
For the meantime, Blaine will have to battle it out for the No. 2 spot behind Colin Kaepernick, taken 26 picks after Gabbert in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Kaepernick, not Gabbert, has turned out to be the franchise QB ever team seeks in the draft, and after three seasons, Kaepernick may be the best QB from the 2011 class, ahead of the likes of Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, and Andy Dalton.
For Gabbert, a season in San Francisco could be a great thing, and if anybody knows about career revivals for QBs, it’s Jim Harbaugh.
Not only did Harbaugh revive his own career as the QB for the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s helped Alex Smith go from bust, to boom in the eyes of many NFL experts.
Gabbert now hopes that Harbaugh can work his magic and offer him a rebirth as a new QB. Unlike in Jacksonville, Gabbert has the weapons necessary to succeed in San Francisco. He’s got a great offensive line and he’s stacked at wide receiver and running back, and don’t forget about one of the top defenses in football.
He’s in the perfect situation. It worked for Andrew Luck, it worked for Alex Smith, and it’s worked for Colin Kaepernick, so why not for Blaine Gabbert?