Blog Entry

Question isn't if Locker slips, but how much?

Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:22 pm
Following a mediocre performance in his Huskies' season opening loss at BYU, I argued that whatever gap there may have been in the pro grades of Washington's Jake Locker and Florida State's Christian Ponder as the top senior quarterback was narrowing .

With a historically poor performance at home Saturday against Nebraska, Ponder will overtake Locker on most boards.

In all fairness to Locker, Nebraska may have the country's best secondary. The Cornhuskers' Prince Amukamara was rated by NFL scouts as the elite senior prospect in the country heading into this season. His counterpart, junior Alfonzo Dennard, has been characterized by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini as being every bit as good as Amukamara. Dennard certainly looked worthy of his coach's high praise with stready coverage, including an interception and 33-yard return for a touchdown.

Locker completed only 4 of 20 passes for 71 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against the Cornhuskers. His QB rating of 46.3% -- his worst in 31 career games -- is the third lowest QB-rating by a FBS quarterback since 2003.

Take away the 45-yard touchdown pass thrown to receiver Jermaine Kearse in the third quarter and Locker threw for only 26 yards in a game in which the Huskies trailed for all but the first two minutes (technically, 2:11).

But, forget the final statistics for a moment.

Locker's first throw of the game demonstrated exactly why scouts will be dropping him.

Dropping back, Locker surveyed the field and with solid protection he calmly lofted a deep pass over the middle into double coverage. The throw was easily intercepted by safety Eric Hagg.

It was a throw that never should have been made. Not by a fifth-year senior. Certainly not by one projected to be the first pick of the 2011 NFL draft.

Unless Locker turns around his season -- and quickly -- he won't have to worry about being the first pick.

He'll need to show improvement just to make the first round.

Since: Aug 29, 2007
Posted on: September 20, 2010 1:30 pm

Question isn't if Locker slips, but how much?

The bottom line is if Jake Locker wants to be considered a first-round QB, he needs to lead his team to some wins.  It's not just stats; it's also about being a leader and helping your team actually win.  A good QB needs to be able to beat teams with good defenses. 

Since: Feb 19, 2009
Posted on: September 20, 2010 12:39 pm

Question isn't if Locker slips, but how much?

Thanks for the kind words. They are always appreciated.

Locker's rare tools give him more a great chance to turn around this season than most, so we'll see.

As for Mallett and Luck, each have performed well so far. I'm personally higher on Luck. While I was impressed with him last year, I reserved expectations for this year until he proved he could be just as effective without defenses focusing on Toby Gerhart. So far, Luck has been even better in 2010 than he was last year. That type of year to year improvement is exactly what we have not yet seen from Locker.

Regarding the cornerbacks... Amukamara has been every bit as good as the hype from what I've seen, but Peterson may be a whole other level. If there is a better football player in the country, I haven't yet seen him.

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:39 pm

Question isn't if Locker slips, but how much?

He should have taken the money, now his stock is dropping, like Colt McCoy fell perhaps. and then 2011 might be a lockout.

I thought Ryan Mallet looks to be the part of a NFL QB over Locker and Ponder so far and I have not seen Andrew Luck play yet.

Pat Peterson looks more solid than Prince Amukamara watching both this week-end.

Good Stuff Rob, as always.

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