2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jake Locker, Wash.

NFL Mocks is  rolling out our new scouting report template that brings you even more in-depth analysis.  We break down several key traits and grade them on a scale from 5-1.  The breakdown is that 5 being the best and 1 being the worst.  We then will give the prospect an overall grade that is also based on the 5-1 scaling system.  At the end of each of the reports we give an overall assessment as well as a definition of our grade.  This reports are rather lengthy but it really gives you a good feel for each player.  If your looking for a quick breakdown check out the top graphic which gives our strengths and weaknesses for the specific player.  So please continue reading to see our full scouting report!

Athletic Ability: Locker has above average athletic ability for a quarterback.  He has the skills to hurt a defense with his legs by out running angles.  Locker has good balance in his drop back and while on the move. That balance permits Locker to quickly set and rest set his feet towards his target. He keeps his feet underneath him which allows him to fluidly change direction.

Measurables: At 6-3 230lbs Locker has good size and bulk which is on par with the position.  Locker’s bulk helps him remain healthy after absorbing big hits.  Everybody expects to see a stellar 40 time out of Locker which could slightly impact his draft stock.

Football IQ: In this area, Locker has made improvements each and every year.  However, he is still a long way away from completely understanding the ins and outs of the quarterback position.  The biggest concern I have is Locker’s ability to make throws with anticipation.  His reaction time is slower than ideal which leads to throws arriving late to their target.  In the NFL the majority of those passes will either be intercepted or broken up.  This problem might also be attributed to confidence which would be a different issue altogether.

Competitiveness: Locker is a tough kid that gives his all on each and every play.  He isn’t afraid to stand in against the rush and wait until the last possible second to deliver the throw.  Locker’s career at Washington has been anything but easy but he fought each week to help his team win.  The fact that he remained positive throughout the struggles really speaks to his character and leadership ability.

Technique: Locker has not been asked to take many snaps from under center but he is balanced when required to do so.  On the few under center snaps I viewed Locker was balanced and quick to reach his hitch step.  I feel that this is an area that will not require much attention at the next level.  During his drop back Locker keeps the ball close to his chest and above his breast plate.  He avoids wasted motions which allow him to get the ball out quickly.  Locker does a nice job setting his feet and body towards the target and stepping into his throws.  However, he doesn’t consistently set his feet and that results in many inaccurate throws.

Arm Strength: The majority of Locker’s passes get to their targets quickly and with adequate zip.   On the intermediate passes, such as skinny posts, Locker got the ball their on a line and with a tight spin. However, on several sideline patterns the ball floated allowing the defender to break on the ball.  Overall I feel that Locker has adequate arm strength but not elite.  He can make all the throws in the NFL but those floating sideline throws are a concern.

Accuracy (short, intermediate, Long, on the move): Locker’s accuracy is a major concern and could ultimately lead to a short NFL career.  He struggles to consistently place the ball out in front of his receivers on short passing routes.  Locker fails to throw the target open resulting in fewer yards after the catch.  On intermediate routes the ball arrives late and behind the target, who has to stop his pattern and adjust to the poorly thrown football.  The NFL is all about ball placement and poorly thrown footballs are often intercepted.  However, Locker showed that he had good touch on this deep passes often delivering perfect bucket throws.  The Washington coaching staff did a good job utilizing another one of Locker’s strengths by rolling him out of the pocket.  Locker’s accuracy was much better while on the move which is something NFL teams will have to consider when evaluating him.

Pocket Presence/Under Pressure: Locker has the athletic ability to avoid the rush and extend plays.  He does a nice job keeping his eyes down field looking for an open receiver.  When forced to scramble he is able to reset his feet and body towards his target before throwing the football.  Locker has a good feel for when to tuck and run or when to reposition and get rid of the football.  However, the poor offensive line play at Washington often left him running for his life which could make it appear that he tucks and runs too often.  As Locker transitions to the NFL he is going to have to lean on this legs and athletic ability to make up for his other deficiencies.

Reading Defenses: While Locker has made strides in this area he still has a long way to go before he is NFL ready.   During his pre-snap reads, Locker routinely failed to identify the potential blitz and the result was missing his hot read and open receiver.  Locker has a tendency to lock on to his first read and force the ball into coverage.  He doesn’t appear comfortable going across the field with his progressions.  On several plays he immediately locked on to his initial target allowing the defender to get a good break on the football.  Lastly, Locker’s propensity to hold the football leads me to believe that he doesn’t diagnosis defenses quickly which is a direct result of poor anticipation.

Overall: What a difference a year makes!  Last year Locker was looking at a top 5 selection and now needs a strong Senior Bowl just to remain in the 1st round.  The fact that I was able to breakdown a lot of different games gave me a good look at both Locker’s strengths and weaknesses.  There is some upside for him but his lack of accuracy and struggles diagnosing information bring major question marks.   The athletic ability is present for Locker to succeed which makes it likely a team will fall in love enough to select him in the 1st round.  Locker will definitely benefit from the workout aspect of the draft process which will significantly help his stock.

Grade: 3.8-Locker has 1st round athletic ability but questionable feel for the position.  There is star potential but also bust potential.

Games Views:  USC, Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona State, Syracuse (limited), Nebraska, Arizona ’09, Stanford ‘09

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  • Waldoon

    Because of Gabbert ,Newton, and the possible movement predraft of Kolb and Young; if Locker falls to the second round is he a good fit for the Patriots offense as a understudy for Brady?

  • mike

    I think alot of the negitive attributes of this qb are direct influence of little to no talant on the field with him. alot of his missed passes were because his oline didnt block any one or his receiver didnt catch a catchable ball. I saw alot of comparisons to jay cutler coming out of vandy, he will be selected in top 15 of the draft and it would be hard to see him getting by washington at 10.

  • Maxxx

    I am a Husky alum and thus obviously biased, but ths kid is amazing. He is HUGE. He has run 4.4, squated 475 and benched 450. No BS. He weighed 245 when Sarkisian came to the UW and he immediately told Locker to stop the heavy lifting. He was bigger and stronger than most linebackers. I met him after the Holiday Bowl, and while I am 6’3″ and 215, he made me feel tiny. The guy is a beast.
    If anyone does their homework, guess how many Husky OL or receivers have been drafted the past 5 years while Locker was at the UW? Try ZERO.
    An analyst watched the Stanford game this past year and found Locker had on average, 1.2 seconds to throw the ball. Andrew Luck had over 4 seconds.
    Not that Locker is as accurate as Luck, but that is a HUGE stat.
    Locker will be a fantastic QB in 3 years. I just hope he is not drafted by some crappy team and forced to play right away. He has only had 2 years in a West Pro-Style offense under Sarkisian, and before Sark, he was the only starting QB in the PAC10 to NOT have a coach(Willingham seemed to think HE could coach Jake – what a fool that guy was).
    Watch the combines.
    Seriously, this guy will be better than Newton and Mallet. I bet he goes higher than the East Coast ESPN lovers are saying. However, as I said above, it would be better to see him go to a good team and develop behind someone like a Brady.
    Plus, he has great work ethic. Not the type to hold out for more money either. Just watch.

    • Dawg

      This is the opinion of a Scout that has seen all but one of Jake Locker’s games.
      And I quote;
      ” I think his ball placement has been fine. By my count, Husky receivers have dropped 41 catchable passes (eg: hit in hands). By comparison, I’ve seen all of Andrew Luck, and Stanford receivers have dropped 17 passes by my count. If you drop Locker’s totals to 20, his completion percentage going into the Holiday Bowl would be over 60%.
      Someone’s got to throw the ball… and someone’s got to catch the ball. Takes two plus having an OL with 3+ freshman, and moving them around a dozen times like they have, are all things the scouts will look at and factor in.
      When the Huskies played Stanford, Locker had under 1.5 seconds to pass the ball – Andrew Luck had 4+… +4 compared to 1.5!!!
      Locker has been hurt most of the year. The guy has been running for his life more than people realize. He’s not injury prone he’s getting beat up! 1.5 guys can you say,”Run Forest Run!” None of the other top 5 QB’s took the pounding Locker took .The UW played over 14 freshman in each game … that is how bad things were after Willingham was fired.
      My belief is that Locker is similar to Tim Tebow coming out of college, but with no throwing motion issues, better arm strength, and two years running a pro style offense. In the end, though, if brought along like Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers, Locker can be a franchise QB.”

      • Maxxx

        Locker will go earlier than the Oregon or WSU fans would like to think.
        He is solid, and exactly the type of leader teams want. The kid NEVER quits.
        How he played 4+ games with busted ribs I’ll never know. I have 2 right now (a slight ‘fall’ after the Holiday Bowl while trying to jog with my son & friends to a restaurant at 2AM…). I won’t even let my 8lb terrier get close to me. Any movement is brutal… and Locker refused to say he was hurting until after 4 games, it became too obvious.
        Locker is training down here in SoCal at a highly-regarded conditioning camp. He is a workaholic.

  • david parsons

    Maxxx… nice write up on Locker…I watched him in HS, college, and will enjoy his pro career. As you said his stock will rise in the combine when its a straight up comparison with other quarterbacks. They would be well advised to not show up. and, Mr.Locker will be one of the best in the yrs to come. His progression in 2 yrs is incredible. As for EC ESPN, I wish we could move the San Andreas fault over there and trip it. Soooo tired of how good the are. Wish we could take the Pac 10 and just play them for a yr. Second wish would have been to use Stanford’s D coord and let him run U of O defense against Auburn. Lastly, I like Lockers desire to play to win, not play to not lose… there is a difference…. OK.. one more.. dang him.. i wish he would have come out last yr.. then my Rams would have had a shot at him and I could enjoy at least something about them…. after they get rid of their O coordinator.

    • Maxxx

      Yeah, I am so sick of hearing the ‘SEC Dominance’ garbage.
      Winning with 2 seconds left by a field goal, after a crummy game and a broken play is by no means ‘dominating’.
      Oregon did not look good. I have no idea why Chip Kelly played the game like a Boise State, with the stupid little tricks. There was no need.
      Stanford, Wisconsin or TCU would have beaten Auburn easily in that game. However much ESPN wants to love themselves, it really was not a quality event. We need to get back to the old days when the season ended January 1st as well. This is the first time I am glad the college season is over, because of all the hype. It got very old this year.

      Re. Locker, he is far more athletic than Bradford, but you can’t argue with Bradford’s accuracy. I am surprised Bradford lasted the season, because he seemed frail in college. I guess the Rams strength guys beefed him up a lot, because he has taken some serious shots that a year earlier would have put him out of the game.

      Re. the combines, I agree. Mallet should come up with an excuse not to turn up. Same with Newton, who’s sheer size has made the difference in college. Also, we have only seen Newton for 1 year, and people seem to forget this. One year! How would he have done on a team not stacked with talent?

      Re. Mallet, I am 20 years older than him but can still run better… While I like the pro-style, a QB these days needs to be more mobile to save themselves. Locker won’t be able to put his head down and knock people over in the pros like he has been doing, but when rolling to his right, there is no better passer out there. The kid has sheer strength you can’t get just from the weight room. He is just a beast – genetically.
      Sarkisian says he is the best athlete he has coached at QB, and that says a lot when you look at the guys he has put in the pros.