Jake Locker has the ability to make scouts drool: he has a human arm on the left side of his body and a bazooka on the right. He has quick feet, stellar pocket presence and a big, strong body. The problem is that he can be horribly erratic.
Issues with accuracy — or more precisely, inaccuracy — killed Locker’s stock in the months leading up to the 2011 NFL draft, which is what forced jaws to drop nation-wide when his was the eighth named called by commissioner Roger Goodell on Apr. 28.
Did the Tennessee Titans fall in love with Locker’s attributes and decide that he could somehow get past his obvious flaws?
I mean, does Brady Quinn ring a bell?
For what it’s worth, Locker’s former head coach at Washington thinks he’ll avoid becoming another first-round quarterback bust. Here’s how Steve Sarkisian explained Locker’s accuracy issues in a recent radio interview:
“Part of it is, I wish we were better up front for him, to be quite honest with you. And I think throughout his career starting as a red-shirt freshman and being a four-year starter, you can create some bad habits. And those bad habits can get magnified if the protection isn’t as good as it needs to be. So I think there are some habits there that are easily fixable and I know [offensive coordinator] Chris Palmer and those guys on the offensive staff are going to get that done. But from a physical standpoint, you go out and throw in a T-shirt and shorts, he throws as good as anybody. There are some concerns I know everybody had about him in the pocket with guys rushing around him. And I don’t think it’s a lack of courage or awareness, it’s because the guy got beat up so much he knew he had to escape and go make plays out of the pocket.”
I wouldn’t expect the former coach of a recent draft pick to do anything but endorse his ex-pupil, but that explanation is quite frank and makes a lot of sense.
So in other words: I now expect Locker to be this generation’s Steve Young.