Ranking the Big 12's best players: No. 16

The official list of the Big 12's top 25 players is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we're revealing the list day by day here on the blog. Here's a refresher on my exact criteria.

No. 16: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

2010 numbers: Gabbert completed 301 of 475 passes for 3,186 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Also ran 112 times for 232 yards and five touchdowns.

Most recent ranking: Gabbert was ranked No. 12 in our preseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.

Making the case for Gabbert: Gabbert didn't have the receiving corps his predecessor, Chase Daniel had, or even the receiving corps he had as a sophomore in 2010. He had reliable underneath threats in tight end Michael Egnew and receiver T.J. Moe, but Gabbert played his final season as a Tiger without a game-breaking speedster like Jeremy Maclin or Danario Alexander. That said, Egnew and Moe's impressive numbers are a credit to Gabbert's accuracy, an attribute that may land him inside the top 10 of this year's NFL draft. His touchdowns (24 in '09, 16 in '10) and yardage (407 fewer in '10 than in '09) were down this year without Alexander, but he completed nearly five percent more passes and won 10 games, versus eight in 2009. Gabbert's stock in our ranking remained fairly constant. His drop from 16 to 12 was more because other unforeseen stars passed him, rather than Gabbert doing anything to cause it. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder had arguably the strongest and most accurate arm in the Big 12, and he's the first quarterback to crash our postseason top 25 list.

The rest of the list: