Jack Del Rio: No idea we were drafting Blaine Gabbert

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  • By Logan Reardon NFL.com
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Eight years after the Jaguars moved up six spots in the 2011 NFL Draft to select Blaine Gabbert, former coach Jack Del Rio shed some light on the fateful draft night trade -- a trade that was a shocker, even to him.

"I had no idea we were going to draft Blaine Gabbert. No idea," Del Rio said Tuesday, via ESPN Jacksonville 690. "In fact, I left to go get something to eat because our pick wasn't for much longer in the draft. I'm sitting there filling my plate thinking, 'Oh great, we've got a couple more hours until we pick.' Then, I look up and see 'The Jaguars are on the clock.' I'm like 'What the blank is going on?'"

You read that correctly. Former Jaguars general manager Gene Smith made the move without giving his head coach any indication.

Had the move for Gabbert worked, this might've been a funnier story. But the Missouri product lasted just three seasons in Jacksonville, throwing 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 28 games.

Del Rio claimed he saw these struggles coming for Gabbert.

"My son and I had ranked all the quarterbacks and we liked Blaine," Del Rio said. "We liked him, but he was in the Nick Foles range (2012 third-round pick) -- like third or fourth round. He wasn't a first rounder, he wasn't a guy to trade and go up to get him. So that was not part of coaching, that was not part of me. That was my first indication that my time there was running short."

Del Rio was fired after that 2011 season and Smith was gone one year later. Gabbert remains the only one of the trio still in the NFL, as he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March after starting three games for the Titans last season.

Later in the interview, Del Rio hinted he could write a tell-all book about his time in Jacksonville. So if you're clamoring for more stories like this, you could be in luck.

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