2011 NFL Mock Drafts left, right and center have increased their projections that the 49ers will consider taking Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the draft later today. A lot of folks suddenly see him dropping into the 49ers lap and given the team's need for a quarterback, they think it makes sense for the team to grab him there. In some final mocks of the day, Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock, and Rick Gosselin all have decided Gabbert is the pick at seven.
Given that the draft is starting later today, I thought I'd point folks back to Jim Harbaugh's introductory press conference. While he has since expressed his amorous feelings for Alex Smith, he made some fairly general comments back at that press conference about his thoughts and feelings regarding the quarterback position. He didn't gave away too much information, but he did address specific characteristics he looked for in a quarterback:
"Athletic instincts, accuracy, timing, decision making, leadership, intelligence, and you could keep going on and on here, and they're all important. They're important like to a carpenter, the hammer, the saw, the nails, the ruler - you need ‘em all. So we're trying to find those men and develop those characteristics and those abilities."
He isn't getting into a ton of detail with this information, but given how little we've heard about draft specifics from Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke, this information out of Harbaugh's mouth is the proverbial oasis in the desert. Has Blaine Gabbert shown enough in his two starting seasons at Missouri to pass this very basic laundry list of characteristics?