Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Gabbert's big day arrives

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, NFL draft Updated: March 17, 2011 - 9:01 AM

There appears little to no chance that Blaine Gabbert will be around when the Vikings select 12th in the first round of the NFL draft next month. But that doesn't mean team officials won't be taking a close look at the Missouri quarterback.

Rick Spielman, the Vikings vice president of player personnel, has said the team will do its due diligence on all of the quarterbacks in this draft and that means putting a focus on Gabbert today at his Pro Day. This will be the first chance teams get an opportunity to watch Gabbert throw this offseason.

He elected not to throw at the NFL Scouting Combine last month, and he's not a senior so NFL teams did not get a chance to look at him at the Senior Bowl.

Although there has been speculation about Auburn's Cam Newton possibly being the first pick overall in this draft by Carolina, there also has been plenty of talk that Gabbert will be the first quarterback to be selected.

The Vikings are planning to have private workouts with several quarterbacks and reportedly held one this week for Washington's Jake Locker. Obviously, a private workout where a team can talk one-on-one with a player and put him through drills designed for its offense is the most valuable.

One thing that will be valuable for NFL teams today is seeing Gabbert take snaps from under center. Terry Shea, who is serving as Gabbert's coach, confirmed the quarterback will be working under center instead of out of the shotgun as he did in Missouri's spread offense.

Gabbert's big day comes one day after quarterback Christian Ponder reportedly put on an impressive 45-minute throwing session at Florida State's Pro Day.

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