Jake Locker Profile
Height, Weight: 6’2″ 231 lbs.
40 Time: 4.59
Projected Round: 1-2
NFL Comparison: Jake Plummer
My Take: Jake Locker sure has fallen far from the possible #1 pick he was projected to be last year. He struggled all season with accuracy and consistency, and some analysts see him falling all the way to the second or third round. His saving grace is that he is in a weak quarterback class, and with the desperation for a franchise quarterback, some team will most likely take him in round one.
There are a lot of things to like about Jake Locker. He has a huge arm, elite mobility, and all of the intangibles you look for. He’s a leader who will take a hit in order to gain those extra few yards, and his teammates and coaches back him up 100%. In a lot of ways, he is like Tim Tebow, who ended up as a first round pick last year despite pre-draft talk of being a mid-round pick or being forced to switch positions. There is a drawback to that, though. He doesn’t necessarily have the throwing motion issue that Tebow did, but he seriously lacks accuracy and consistency. He’ll hit the tight end on a perfect seam route one play, only to sail one over his receivers head right into the safety’s chest on the very next play. The funny thing is that he seems to be much more accurate on the run than standing in the pocket. If he has a coach who is willing to be creative and work to his strengths rather than trying to mold him into a pocket passer, he could be very tough to stop. The key word there is could, though. He shows those flashes and makes you want to believe he can put it all together, but just never does.
Another thing that is concerning is how horrible he looked against the best competition. His stat lines this year versus Nebraska and Stanford (see video below)- 4 for 20, 71 yds, 1 TD (plus one rushing), 2 INT and 7 of 14 for 64 yds and 2 INTs. I can’t imagine too many first round picks having a game like that, let alone two. In defense of him, the team around him was lackluster and his receivers really struggled to separate, but you still would like to see him put up at least adequate numbers.
After watching a handful of his games, I think he bears a striking resemblance to Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. His has more speed and a bigger arm than Fitzpatrick, but both can make great throws yet have spotty accuracy, scramble and are willing to take a hit, and have those intangible qualities you look for. He certainly has the potential to be better than “the Amish Rifle,” but it’s uncertain if he ever will truly fulfill that potential. I know most people haven’t seen much of Fitpatrick, but watch all of Locker’s clips below and tell you don’t see the qualities I think of in Fitzpatrick.
Locker truly could end up as one of the best five or ten quarterbacks in the league, but considering his issues it would be surprising to ever see him be more than a solid quarterback who is good enough to make some plays but creates a lot of turnovers for opposing defenses, too. I see him as more of a late 2nd-3rd round pick, but the hopes that he can become a more complete passer with legitimate talent around him will cause him to go higher.
Additional Game Film/Highlights: