From General Manager nacaboose: My opinion on Gabbert is that he's the best QB in the draft. Gabbert can make all the throws that the NFL requires, be accurate, has a quick release, and can make decisions quickly. Working out of the shotgun spread may take some time to adjust to the under center world of the NFL, but Gabbert is athletic enough and smart enough to make the transition IMO. Gabbert is a highly intelligent kid who was named to the academic first team All-Big 12. He should have no problem digesting an NFL playbook. Drafting Gabbert may motivate Sidney Rice to resign with the team, because no WR wants to play for a team with poor QB play. Losing Rice would be a big loss to the Vikes WR core, hopefully this helps resign him. Frazier has publicly made it know he wants to draft a Franchise QB and he gets one with this pick. New regimes typically mean a new starting QB so this pick also symbolizes a fresh start for the Minnesota Vikings organization.
Blaine reminds me of Jay Cutler to be honest, he seems to throw off balance like Cutler does and still throws a solid, catchable ball with a quick release. It's hard to say, but I would say Blaine is as athletic as Jay is too. He ran for over 200yds both seasons as the starting QB for the tigers. Gabbert has a long ways to go to be able to run an offense and read defenses, but with good coaching, Blaine has a chance to be something special. With AP and Gerhart behind him to start his career, I like his chances for success.
Some say it might be a reach, but the most important position on the field deserves a reach sometimes. Hard to win without a franchise QB.
GM nacaboose on the Vikings choice to trade up: I look at the Vikings as a team in disarray this past season. Maybe they were living off of the previous season's success, maybe it was Chilly that was the problem, but something happened. The Vikings are a good team that under performed last year and with a good offseason could easily be back in the playoffs. The team needs I came up with are as follows: QB, S, WR, DE, OG, OC, OT, OLB, CB, DT, MLB, TE, and RB. I think everyone knows how bad Favre was this year and how bad his backups were behind him. Therefore, the biggest need by FAR is the QB position. I figured I would have to settle for a 2nd round QB since FA isn't allowed and we can't trade for players. I was fine with that too, but was beginning to try and figure out how the draft would unfold for my 12th overall pick and didn't like my options. I didn't figure there was any way Newton or Gabbert would make it to me with all of the QB needy teams in front of me. I figured best case scenario was a Julio Jones fell to me which would allow me to trade back or just select him as BPA. When the Browns wanted to trade back I didn't think I could do it and fill needs when I knew it would cost me a 2nd for sure. With my third round pick gone already from the Randy Moss trade it would have left me with no picks in the second or third rounds and I wasn't comfortable with that. The Browns really wanted to move back though and were willing to accept my offer of my first, second, and one of my fifths for their first and third round picks. The trade gives Frazier a QB with a franchise QB skillset, fills the Vikings biggest need, and gives them a third rounder to hopefully get a solid player. All in all, a good trade by both sides IMO.
Details of trade: Cleveland trades their first and 3rd round picks, #6 and #70 overall to Minnesota for a 1st, 2nd and 5th round pick, #12, #43, and #147 overall.
From the Commish
Sayre:The Vikings use some of their few assets to move up and get a long term option at quarterback, FINALLY. I have been in the middle of Vikings country for my whole life, and the last "franchise" quarterback that team had was Daunte Culpepper. Brett Favre was fine as a stop-gap, but they made a horrible mistake by not picking up a top quarterback prospect with one of their previous picks (they were interested in Tebow last year).
I like this pick. I think Gabbert has a ton of work to do, but he's got some serious athleticism and a strong arm. Good pick for the Vikings, giving up enough and getting back a fair return as well.