Jack Del Rio had 'no idea' the Jaguars were drafting Blaine Gabbert in 2011

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars traded up in the 2011 NFL draft to select Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the No. 10 overall pick — marking a pretty big move for the organization.

However, the team apparently didn’t inform their head coach beforehand.

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Jack Del Rio, who lead Jacksonville from 2003-2011, said on ESPN690 in Jacksonville on Tuesday that he was very unaware that former general manager Gene Smith was making that move on draft night. In fact, Del Rio wasn’t even in the room when it happened.

He had left to go track down some food.

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“I had no idea we were going to draft Blaine Gabbert,” Del Rio said on Tuesday, via ESPN690. “No idea. In fact, I left to go get something to eat because our pick wasn’t for much longer in the draft. I go and then I’m sitting there filling my plate thinking, ‘Oh great, we’ve got a couple more hours until we pick.’ Then I see, ‘The Jaguars are on the clock.’ I’m like, ‘What the blank is going on?’

“I walk into the draft room, and I could see it on the faces of the people in the room. They knew how uncomfortable that was, how wrong that was.”

The move for Jacksonville didn’t quite pan out, either. Gabbert only lasted three seasons in Jacksonville, throwing 22 touchdowns and 24 interceptions while compiling a 5-22 record in 27 games. Though he liked Gabbert, Del Rio said that he didn’t think he was worthy of a first round pick.

Del Rio, as it turned out, wasn’t long in Jacksonville either. He was fired in Week 12 of that season after a rough 3-8 start. Things had been trending down for Del Rio for quite some time before he was fired. The team won just 23 games in his final four years, and hadn’t had a winning season since 2007.

Looking back on that shocking draft moment now, Del Rio said it marked one of the first true signs that his employment in North Florida was coming to an end.

“He wasn't a first rounder,” Del Rio said, via ESPN690. “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 in J-ville was running short.”

Jack Del Rio had 'no idea' that the Jaguars were moving to draft Blaine Gabbert in 2011. Instead, he was off grabbing dinner. (Michael Thomas/Getty Images)
Jack Del Rio had 'no idea' that the Jaguars were moving to draft Blaine Gabbert in 2011. Instead, he was off grabbing dinner. (Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

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