Scouting Report: The Washington Huskies Jake Locker certainly looks the part of an NFL franchise quarterback. He's got nice size, while not being so tall his footwork suffers. He's got great mechanics on his throws and does a very good job throwing on the run. But on the other side, Locker has some shortcomings to his game, that seem to show up more in some games, and less in others. He doesn't make great reads often locking onto wide outs, and his arm strength isn't where it needs to be. He doesn't put a lot of zip on his passes and is late making his throws, not showing good anticipation. Locker has a ton of upside that you can see in flashes during the season, and you have to think given time, a good coaching, he can become a great quarterback.
Draft Status: Somewhere out there there's an NFL team who's going to fall in love with Jake Locker's potential. Last year Locker could well have been a Top 10 pick and whilst I don't think he'll go that high this year I don't see him falling too far from there either. I'm thinking mid first round. But some great workouts for scouts and good interviews could even see him back inside that Top 10 now Andrew Luck has returned to school.
Final Analysis: I think Locker has a lot of the pieces that make a great NFL quarterback. His size, ability to escape the pocket, extend the play and bust out big runs are huge pluses for him. He shows excellent poise and leadership and some ability to win with very little talent around him. But after he returned for his Senior year I expected more. I expected Locker to come out this year and blow up college football with his arm and his legs. That didn't happen. He did show some improvement, particularly in his throwing mechanics, as he's keeping the ball higher and showing a quicker release. But his anticipation hasn't improved and his throws in the pocket still aren't as good as you'd expect. He's more accurate but his timing for the NFL is still a half step slow. I like that he's gotten better in play action, but I am still not satisfied in his downfield reads. Locker's going to need some good coaching and a lot of patience at the next level. If he can get that he has a chance.
Reminds me of: David Garrard QB Jacksonville Jaguars - Locker and Garrard both show plenty of athletic ability and can really hurt you with their feet. Both of them seem to have the physical attributes to succeed as NFL Quarterbacks. But both have question marks surrounding their decision making and anticipation which have stopped Garrard becoming an elite QB. Hopefully Locker can overcome these in the NFL.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy