Gridiron Gab 2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report – QB Jake Locker

Jake Locker, QB, Washington, 6’3 226

Position Ranking: #3

Strengths: Has the ideal measurables and playing demeanor for a professional quarterback; looks the part. Very strong armed and can make all the NFL throws. Shows that he can throw the football 45 yards off his back foot and puts enough zip on throws to fit passes in small coverage windows at every layer of the field. Very effective on the move, squares shoulders and is accurate on the short, intermediate, and deep.

Shows good command of his huddle and plays with confidence even when his team is down. Has good touch & timing on his intermediate throws as he develops a rythm. Very good zip on intermediate routes inside and outside the numbers. Shows over the top release point on throws and has a quick enough release. Athleticism is very good for a quarterback and is said to be able to run a 4.4 40 yard dash. Picks up speed as he runs and can blow by linebackers who fall asleep on Locker’s running ability. High character player who is loved and respected by coaches and teammates. Shows natural leadership skills.

Needs Improvement: Still isn’t comfortable making plays inside the pocket. Doesn’t always see the entire field and can be slow to locate the open receiver after his first read. Mechanics are still a work in progress and will throw off back foot when pressure builds around him. Accuracy seems to be a consistent problem as he tends to lead his receiver too far or throw behind them on too many occasions.

Will force throws into double coverage and doesn’t always seem to pick-up quickly on disguises in coverage. The game hasn’t seemed to slow down for him as a 5th year senior; looks confused and hurried when he should be poised and collected. Takes off to run and leaves his progressions too early, not trusting the play to develop. Is still too dependent on his athleticism over arm and playcall development.

Bottom Line: Jake Locker was a somewhat frustrating player in evaluations because there are times where he flashes big time ability as both a passer and an athlete, showing shades of great quarterbacks Steve Young and John Elway. Those times aren’t often enough though and he still looks like he’s learning the basic nuances of the quarterback position even after two seasons of running the same playbook. After looking back at last years games it became evident to me that Locker has regressed as a passer this season in both his progression reads and technique; he was sharper in 2009. To his credit Locker keeps his head high and will go down with the ship. He hasn’t been surrounded by great talent and never outwardly blamed teammates for mistakes.

While his physical tools and leadership abilities are big time strengths, his football intelligence and pocket instincts are currently below adequate and he may never become a natural in this regard. His upside will be hard for quarterback needy teams to ignore and Locker will surely be impressive during the interview process and workout portions leading to the draft . The team that selects Locker must give him time to learn, and put him in an offensive system that allows him to move outside the pocket and take advantages of his athletic strengths until the mental part comes around. His arm strength, athleticism, and intangibles are what will likely make him an early pick. His effort and work ethic will never be questioned.

Draft Projection: mid 1st to mid 2nd round

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4 Responses to “Gridiron Gab 2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report – QB Jake Locker”

  1. Frank Dollar says:

    Let’s not forget that some of the great ones in the NFL were not drafted that high (Montana, Farve and others) but no one can deny their place in the history of the NFL. Then again we have some who have been drafted high and didn’t live up to their draft position (Leaf, Mirer and others). As a devoted Washington Huskies Tailgater (Friends of Frank Tailgating) I have been their when we were 0-12, and better. But through it all, I have never seen a player regardless of position who has given more to any University Program, Institution, Alums or fans then Jake Locker has given. In a time when everything is about the bucks, his integrity speaks volumes for the type of individual he is. As a Husky tailgater, I had the opportunity to meet his parents, and must say that this is the foundation that makes a person like Jake Locker. Family, integrity and the will to do what is right is a choice that each one of us has. Whether others agree with you or disagree even in the face of possible lost millions we still have to live with the person that is looking back at us in the mirror everyday. It is my very biased opinion, that any NFL team that drafts Jake Locker will be getting one the the NFL’s future greats. He possess all of the physical skills to excel even at the next level but better then that, he posses the kind of leadership through example that comes from someone who has EARNED the respect of his peers, fellow teammates, coaches, fans and anyone who knows Jake. Jake is the type of individual that our young ones can look up to and truly say “I would like to be like Jake when I grow up” and any parent should be happy with that choice. If Jake Locker never plays one down in the NFL he still is a winner with alot more going for him then what the scoreboard shows, he is a true winner, he has skills that have roots that can’t be bought for the love of money. Jake will be one of the main reasons that Husky football has started it’s comeback, but we also have a good program, and a very good and capable coach, and as Sark continues to get the talent to run his program all I can say is Washington is back and opponents better watch out. Yes, Jake could have left for a nice NFL bonus and a Sunday paycheck, and Husky football would have continued to go on. I for one am glad he didn’t, through his integrity to a University and football program but more importantly to himself, he has earned my respect and admiration. At this level of sports and the next, no coach can give Jake the things he already posses, the things that come from strong family, like honesty, integrity and a sense of doing the right thing oh, they might be able to add to it or mold it and shape it alittle more but he already posses those things. That, with his God given athletic ability and the right coach and mentor is why Jake Locker will be a great NFL leader and quarterback.

    Frank H. Dollar Jr
    “Friends of Frank”

  2. Drew Handy says:

    EXCELLENT synopsis of Jake Locker as an NFL prospect. I have studied every play of Locker’s career and agree completely with the critique above.

  3. James McPherson says:

    As a Husky fan myself I see through Purple and Gold glasses, but from being a fan for a very long time I also know when the Huskies have a wealth of talent and when they don’t. I wish defensive coordinators could give a detailed summary of their gameplans against the Huskies this year because I think Jake would look better to analysts than he does now. With an average Pac-10 QB this team could easily have been 2-10 with the talent level that is around Jake. Even if you put Andrew Luck on this team I would not have picked higher than 7-5. Let’s not forget that the only two teams ahead of the Huskies in the Pac-10 are both playing in BCS bowl games and one is the national championship. Look at how many teams that started as many freshman as UW made it to a bowl, any bowl, I would bet the number is low. When one player adds so much to a team, but the team doesn’t do as well as many thought it does not make that player worse. He played with a broken rib and led his team to three straight conference wins with two of them being on the road. Cut the guy a little slack.

  4. Dan Cooper says:

    The detailed strengths of this analysis are spot on. The strength of arm, elusiveness and character of Jake is undeniable. And, once he goes to the combine, he will make the NFL scouts believers in his athleticism beyond any doubt.

    As far as the “needs improvement”, NFL teams can be rest assured that the common denominator to your anlaysis is time in the pocket. Jake had an average of 2 seconds in the pocket before it collapsed throughout the year–a guy like Andrew Luck averaged almost 4 seconds. Give Locker 4 seconds, and he has time for his progressions, check downs, and time to get his feet set. Even 3 seconds he would look all-world….really, these negatives have all been circumstantial. It is amazing how the game slows down when a q.b. not only has time, he has playmakers who can get open….not to mention that can then catch it (to help the completion percentage, something that got battered due to dropped passes and throw aways to avoid a sack).

    While Jake has been keyed on throughout the season and has not been able to run as effectively as years past, a lot of it was because of injuries suffered because of excessive behind the line of scrimmage contact. And,if there was a strength you missed in your analysis (in my opinion) you missed detailing his toughness and competitive spirit. Leading a team while nursing a broken rib–taking them on his back on the last drive of the Cal game for example–showed he had no care for his own condition and did what it took to achieve victory. Those intangibles make him a great prospect for teams that value having a gritty leader at q.b.

    With good guidance in learning an offense at the NFL level–one that is somewhat designed with him in mind–he will excel…especially if he is given a year or two to learn. And, if he is given time to throw, watch out. Jake has the god-given abilities and talent to be a top tier NFL quarterback, and whatever team takes him in April will learn that shortly after he joins their mini camp.

    –Dan Cooper