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Monday, March 4, 2013
The edge right now: Gabbert or Locker?

By Paul Kuharsky

In our Saturday Twitter mailbag, I was asked to stack the quarterbacks of the AFC South. After Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub, I put Jake Locker ahead of Blaine Gabbert.

It stirred some debate. And I should have offered a bit of an explanation of my rationale, which is pretty simple, really.

The sample size on Gabbert is bigger, which gives me less confidence in the potential for him to make a big improvement, though it’s certainly still possible be it in Jacksonville soon or somewhere else later.

The sample size on Locker, drafted two spots ahead of Gabbert in 2011’s first round, is smaller (see chart below).

Of course their supporting casts factor into what they’ve done so far. But neither has had sufficient help during his time starting.

Locker’s worst attribute is his accuracy, yet he’s actually been more accurate than Gabbert. Gabbert’s worst attribute is his propensity for taking sacks, and his sack percentage is higher (8.2 percent) than Locker’s (7.3).

But my giving an edge to Locker in a two-quarterback division for the No. 3 quarterback ranking comes down to this: He gets more time. We haven’t seen a complete season from either, but Gabbert’s had a good chunk of two seasons while Locker’s had only a good chunk of one.

My ranking boiled down to that as much as anything. Locker is more deserving of more time, so I score him a bit better in upside.

How about you? Vote and be heard.